As the metaverse evolves, we know there are inherent risks for businesses. But what industries can we expect to be impacted and what are the potential upsides and opportunities?
“We are observing how different industries are incorporating this technology to better their business strategy. For example, companies are utilizing augmented reality to assess the risk for large catastrophes, like wildfires. This technology could help prevent major disastrous events if integrated properly,” said Michael Kearney, vice president of emerging technologies and innovation at The Hartford.
As virtual and augmented reality technologies become more popular, there is an uptick in demand across industries to mitigate risk, increase company efficiency and build brand awareness. There are several industries that may be significantly impacted by the evolution of the metaverse, including:
- Technology: It is anticipated that there will be cutting edge technologies at the forefront, building the infrastructure for the metaverse.
- Gaming: This industry has potential to be the center of the metaverse with gamers developing a deeper connection to the digital world.
- Media and Entertainment: As the technology evolves, we can expect to consume media in new ways. Already, there is an emphasis on immersive experiences with users actively engaging with content.
- Manufacturing: As advancements in virtual simulation progress, manufacturers will be able to leverage a safer, immersive environment for research, development and production. Expect to see a shift in production and logistics.
- Health Care: There will be an increase in access to care, new methods of care delivery, and a decrease health care costs as health care organizations find unique ways to incorporate this new technology.
The Metaverse Can Help Build Company Value
To date, metaverse technologies have been most widely adopted in the online gaming industry. The market is expected to grow from $13.8 billion in 2023 to more than $710 billion by 2030.1 Major technology companies continue to invest heavily given the climbing sales of virtual and augmented reality headsets. Gaming companies are also expanding their metaverse capabilities to increase revenue generation through virtual music concerts, sporting events, monetized virtual goods and brand partnerships.
Taking a cue from gaming and other sectors, manufacturing has also become a leader in adopting metaverse technology. Vehicle companies are utilizing three-dimensional (3D) prototypes to virtually test changes to enhance product design without ever having to stop production and lose resources.2 Similar technology is also deployed for training engineers.
“Imagine you are new to your profession and have never touched an engine before. Augmented reality offers you the opportunity to learn the ins and outs in a 3D space. This benefits the employee from a learning perspective and the company from a cost saving lens,” said Andrew Zarkowsky, global technology industry practice lead at The Hartford.
Ecommerce and retail have also begun to embrace 3D technology to better the customer experience and drive sales. “The metaverse technologies are well-suited to retail transactions because they allow consumers to visualize what their potential purchases would look like. For example, visualizing furniture in a room through augmented reality without leaving home,” said Kearney.
The Metaverse Can Offer Return on Investment
Investing in metaverse now has the potential to create a strong return on investment (ROI) for businesses. “There are a variety of opportunities to increase efficiency and cost savings. For example, using virtual environments for research and development, employee training, upskilling and onboarding. Going virtual can streamline workflows, create a more efficient process for employees and be less expensive for employers,” said Zarkowsky.
“While the metaverse hasn’t boomed as much as we thought it would after its debut, we believe it will be here for the long run,” Zarkowsky added. “Companies would be wise to invest a bare minimum in the metaverse by researching what base technologies could benefit their employees, customers and overall production.”
It will also be important for businesses to think about expanding their technology organizations to support the research and implementation of these new tools. “Companies should start to build out their technology departments. It doesn’t matter what type of company you are. You need to make sure you have staff skilled to do this work in the metaverse and to research and prevent any potential risks that could arise,” explained Zarkowsky.
While the full-scale version of the metaverse that's been hyped may still be years away, testing and experimenting now is imperative. “If a company falls behind with these technologies, it's going to be hard to catch up,” Kearney said. “Technology is what will drive business and companies that truly understand how to use it, will be poised to win.”
1,3 “Metaverse Statistics 2023: Latest User & Market Trends,” Tech Report, June 2023
2 “Five Industries That Will Be Transformed By The Metaverse”, Forbes, March 2022
La información proporcionada en estos materiales brinda información general y de asesoría. It shall not be considered legal advice. The Hartford does not warrant that the implementation of any view or recommendation contained herein will: (i) result in the elimination of any unsafe conditions at your business locations or with respect to your business operations; or (ii) be an appropriate legal or business practice. The Hartford assumes no responsibility for the control or correction of hazards or legal compliance with respect to your business practices, and the views and recommendations contained herein shall not constitute our undertaking, on your behalf or for the benefit of others, to determine or warrant that your business premises, locations or operations are safe or healthful, or are in compliance with any law, rule or regulation. Readers seeking to resolve specific safety, legal or business issues or concerns related to the information provided in these materials should consult their safety consultant, attorney or business advisors. All information and representations herein are as of June 2023.