The metaverse is one of the most exciting concepts, especially in the realm of emerging technologies. It recently came into the limelight, when the tech giant Facebook announced the transition of its company name to Meta. While the concept is still in its inception, it is believed that it holds a significant amount of potential. In the near future, it could make virtual reality more intrinsic in our daily lives.
This article will talk about the considerable potential benefits as well as the disadvantages of the metaverse. As it is highly debatable whether the metaverse will be a boon for humankind or just another invention in the tech world.
What are the PROS of the Metaverse?
Introduction of the concept of remote working in workplaces and educational institutions
For 2 years now, the world has experienced the devastating effects of the pandemic. Slowly, we’ve started adjusting ourselves to its consequences. Working methods also took a huge shift in their modus operandi, seeing a rise in widespread remote working. We’ve seen larger organizations switch to this new model, and they plan to keep using it in the near future. Even education institutions have plans to stay on to the idea of distance learning.
Metaverse as technology can emancipate the remote working and distance learning experience. Making use of virtual and augmented reality is predicted to boost the efficiency of employees and students.
Developments in virtual economies
Virtual economies are extensively gaining popularity in the financial sectors. With digital assets like NFTs and cryptocurrencies, the metaverse will become a place to purchase goods and perform a variety of transactions. While NFTs are currently more evolved than the metaverse, which is still primarily in its conceptual stages, their use in the metaverse intends to support it to a greater height.
New branding opportunities for businesses
For decades now, businesses have been using social media to brand themselves and reach their targeted audiences, and promote their products and services. The metaverse provides the advantage of taking social media beyond web 2.0. In this way, businesses can outgrow their revenue by availing its benefits from the virtualization of products in the Metaverse.
Brands can showcase their products in the shared virtual spaces of the Metaverse, allowing users to get a real-time experience of shopping that is much more interactive than online shopping as we know it.
What are the CONS of the metaverse?
Identity and privacy issues
The metaverse represents a significant step in digital transformation. But when digitization comes into the frame, the concern for privacy arises. The metaverse is a highly immersive environment. Engagement with other people happens in the form of avatars, which makes the user identities more susceptible and easy to replicate. In this way, fraudsters can perform activities disguised as someone else, which allows them to gain the trust of susceptible individuals and exploit it to their advantage.
However, we all know that signing up for any platform presents a risk of privacy issues, it’s not easy to avoid. The metaverse as technology is bound to track our behavioural patterns to provide a semi-real simulated experience. This information is of immense value to businesses who aim to use it for targeted marketing purposes.
Inadequate access to the right tools
Widespread adoption of the Metaverse is held back by the issue of accessibility. In order for people access the Metaverse and all it offers, they must purchase a high cost headset and associated gear. The VR headsets currently available on the market are pricy.
Businesses must accept the fact that this largely cuts down their prospective audience. Until VR tools are made more easily accessible to the general public at more affordable prices, brands should expect to reach less people than they hope via the Metaverse.
Gaps between reality and virtual reality
Though the metaverse was designed to bridge the gap between the virtual and real world, there are factors that businesses have to think about from the customer’s perspective. For example, in the case of eCommerce, when customers want to return a product or have it repaired, they would still need to get assistance in the ‘real’ world.
Moreover, there are concerns among experts that the metaverse can become addictive and cause a negative impact on the mental health of people who use it long term. Businesses have to think from the perspective of using the technology to a certain extent instead of exploiting it.
Eventually, the metaverse is expected to expand its use cases which will draw a new set of pros and cons. We hope that experts come up with solutions to minimise negative effects and their impact.
In the end, it all depends on the business owners who are ready to plunge into the new technology and drive benefits from the metaverse, while understanding how to use it as a force of good for business as well as their customers.