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The Metaverse encompasses far more than just entertainment and video games. Other industries are using its skills in novel, extremely disruptive ways. From a tactical perspective, the Metaverse enables companies to:

- Compete in industries they could never have before

- Save a ton of money by changing processes

- Give clients much better results and advantages from their goods and services

A massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds that can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively infinite number of users with an individual sense of presence, and with continuity of data, such as identity, history, entitlements, objects, communications, and payments, is how Matthew Ball describes this vast, only partially understood, and rapidly evolving area in his excellent book The Metaverse.

Here are some of the most fascinating VR and AR Metaverse applications and how they are upending various sectors.

Fitness

Fitness is becoming able to compete in the metaverse with video games, travel, and sporting events. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global market for VR gaming will increase by 31.4% CAGR from $7.92 billion in 2021 to $53.44 billion in 2028. The term "exertainment," which blends music, graphics, wearables, instructors/influencers/coaches, and marketers, will play a significant role in the expansion of the industry.

Top fitness instructors can be simultaneously translated into numerous languages in the Metaverse, making them world-famous and lowering talent expenses because fewer are required. A VR exercise software called Supernatural immerses users in live lessons wherever they are.

to the moon or the Amazon rain forest, from distant deserts. Users are further encouraged to use since they look forward to all the cool settings they can take classes in. Exercise facility 3D virtual tours increase sales conversions.

Gaming is gradually becoming an exercise thanks to the Metaverse, which has enormously beneficial effects on one's health. With stronger storytelling to compel players, video games have done a better job of monetizing people's emotions than the fitness business has. As a result, the fitness sector is starting to follow their lead. The most important lesson to take away from this is to go outside of your own sector for improvements that can improve your own product.

Travel

People can use the Metaverse to plan their travels and activities once they arrive. The Hub Hotel in London, owned by Premier Inn, the largest hotel brand in the United Kingdom, is a fantastic example. An AR map hangs on the wall of each room. When visitors point their phones at various locations, points of interest display helpful information.

The Metaverse will offer more and more "taster content" so that tourists may make better decisions and assess hotels, restaurants, attractions, and modes of transportation. For instance, the Louvre Museum in Paris offers VR tourists the chance to explore the museum and view exhibits while listening to performances.

The Metaverse will increasingly provide a means for older people, those with disabilities, and those on a tight budget to travel in ways they might not otherwise be able to.

Conversion rates will rise since booking in the Metaverse will be more entertaining, informative, and rapid than doing it online or through a travel agent. Bookings jumped by +190% after Thomas Cook Travel offered a 5-minute virtual reality tour of Manhattan.

Retail

AR and VR are assisting customers in making decisions they are happier with, enhancing brand recognition and post-purchase pleasure. Users may scan their current homes, remove the furniture, and view various IKEA piece arrangements in 3D with the new IKEA AR app, which was released in June 2022.

With Instagram shopping, customers can virtually try on things by viewing them on brand or retailer websites. L'Oreal's ModiFace and Lancome's virtual try-on for its L'Absolu Rouge Drama Ink Liquid Lipstik, which comes in 20 different tones, are two examples. Try-ons online foster experimentation in a manner that real-world experiences cannot.

Customers can alter the 13 various shoe sections' colors and materials using augmented reality (AR) virtual try-on filters to see how the shoes would seem on their feet before clicking the buy button. It improves the customizing process, raises brand engagement, fosters imagination, increases owner pleasure, and promotes social sharing of singular pairings.

The Gen Z and Gen Alpha generations are accustomed to paying for online entertainment like video games and virtual concerts. Globally, gamers spent an estimated $40 billion on skins in 2021 to graphically alter their avatars' external features, clothing, and accessories.

Health & Medicine

With a projected CAGR of 33.8%, the VR healthcare market is expected to nearly double from $1.2 billion in 2021 to $11.7 billion in 2028. Some of the more intriguing fields are:

With the aid of cutting-edge data and tracking systems, elite sportsmen can use Rezzil sports training games to perform virtual workouts and receive therapy.

With a VR headgear, joystick, and mouthpiece that allows users to do breathing and meditation exercises in settings that are significantly more relaxing and therapeutic than standard doctor's clinics, Applied VR cures back problems and pain.

Based on CAT and MRI scans, SyncAR provides surgeons with an immersive picture within the body portion they are operating on.

Digital twins of VR patients make it simpler for doctors to plan specialized therapies and anticipate healing timelines and associated consequences.

Video calls for remote medical consultations are anticipated to give way to Metaverse encounters.

High-resolution 3D modeling will be used in medical reports, and patients' home gadgets will be used for remote IOT monitoring of heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Children will find doctor appointments from a distance more enjoyable.

Knowledge & Training

Numerous studies show that immersive learning significantly increases retention rates when compared to alternative methods like lectures and online training sessions.

According to studies by PWC and Deloitte National Training Laboratories, VR learners are up to 275% more confident to act on what they learned after training, which is a 40% improvement over classroom learners and 35% higher than e-learners, and VR soft skills training has an average learning retention rate of 75% compared to 5% for classroom listening.

Scoreboards, prizes, and editable avatars in virtual, lifelike surroundings encourage learning. Information is retained better, learned more quickly, and appreciated more.

According to reports, workers who received training in VR simulations pick things up twice as quickly as e-learners and 3–4 times faster than classroom learners.

Due to the ability to offer the same content considerably more widely and with generally higher, more consistent quality, classes can also be shorter (20 minutes as opposed to 1 hour) and less expensive to deliver. Additionally, learning can be incredibly collaborative and advantageous for workers who are unable to meet in person.

Important Lessons for Business Leaders

It's the Wild West of the Metaverse, full with limitless, uncharted potential for businesses and brands. It can be confusing to know where to begin and where to place bets. Some suggestions are:

1) Using the Metaverse to benchmark what other relevant parties are doing to get ideas and inspiration

2) Prioritizing which Metaverse components can help achieve the most crucial strategic goals in the most effective ways, such as:

  1. Increasing conversion (virtual try-ons, virtual travel taster material),
  2. enhancing staff training & education retention rates, and
  3. decreasing training expenses (training surgeons on virtual cadavers, certain airline crews on virtual planes)
  4. Improving and amusing the consumer experience to boost social sharing and brand loyalty (Qatar Airways personal electronic devices, Hub AR room wall maps)
  5. Permit other scenarios to be examined (digital twins to more easily analyze different supply chain systems, factory floor operations, retail environments)
By James Robinson

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