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Aussie businesses clicking with the metaverse

  • Multiple technologies are collaboratively being used as building blocks to create the metaverse, including AI, virtual reality, and blockchain technology.
  • The metaverse economy is forecasted to be valued at US$10-30 trillion by 2030.
  • In 2021, Microsoft released a version of Teams platform called Mesh, which creates a metaverse-like experience where workers collaborate via avatars.

A growing number of Australian businesses are adopting augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) into their operations as they warm to doing business in the metaverse.

As a three-dimensional virtual world where participants interact via software avatars, the metaverse is being seen by Aussie companies as an important tool to conduct business amid the COVID19 pandemic, research company Telsyte found in its Digital Consumer Study 2022.

About one in three Aussie workers are now willing to attend meetings and undertake training in the virtual reality setting of the metaverse if their workplace offered it, the study found.

This is set to revolutionise how businesses operate as an increasing number of organisations mesh their internal processes and real world operations into the digital world.

In broad terms, the metaverse is lending some verisimilitude to workdays. The technologies that make it include VR – virtual worlds that continue to exist even when you’re not playing or logged in, as well as AR – which combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds.

Other technologies that are collaboratively being used as building blocks to create it include artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology.

Ultimately, the metaverse will allow people to shop, trade, play games, chat, work and even attend meetings. Its potential value varies widely, however there are estimates that the metaverse economy could value between US$10-30 trillion in the next decade.

US-based Constellation Research predicts that value to be more than $21 trillion by 2030. To put that into perspective, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has market capitalisation of about $1.6 trillion.

Aussie industries such as mining, defence, freight, and first responders have been quick to try and adopt VR systems into their business models for safety training, education, and collaboration.

Companies such as mining industry wearables specialist Virtual Method have been working for some time to have AR and VR incorporated as the next phase of growing safety technologies in the sector.

Last year, Microsoft released a version of its Teams collaboration platform called Mesh, which creates a metaverse-like experience where workers can meet each other and collaborate via avatars.

As previously reported by Grafa, there is an increasing number of multinational companies preparing to enter the digital world in 2022. JP Morgan is the latest big name to announce plans to enter the metaverse, while US-based retail giant Walmart in December signalled its plans to enter via the filing of trademarks.

While Aussie workplaces are yet to start fully mandating the use of metaverse headsets for business meetings it appears most workers are at least keen on the idea of incorporating it into their workdays.

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