The “Metaverse” is a concept describing a shared virtual universe, accessible via the Internet, in which users can interact in an immersive way. It can include elements of extended reality (XR) such as virtual worlds, online games, social experiences, virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR) and augmented reality (AR) . The term “Metaverse” is often used to describe a future where technology allows more and more people to connect in a common virtual universe.
Let’s start, first of all, with a short historical reminder. The concept of “Metaverse” was first popularized in the 1990s by Neal Stephenson in his novel “Snow Crash”, where he describes an online virtual universe where users can connect, communicate and interact. And in 1992 in his science fiction novel The Virtual Samurai, a cult book for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Since then, the concept of “Metaverse” has evolved to include not only online virtual universes, but also virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and related technologies. Internet of Things (IoT).
During the 2000s, virtual reality technologies began to emerge, and developers began creating online virtual universes for video games and social applications. Social networks such as Second Life were launched, allowing users to connect and collaborate in virtual spaces.
During the 2010s, augmented reality technologies emerged, allowing users to overlay virtual information onto the real world.
Since 2020, the “Metaverse” has experienced rapid development thanks to investments from web players (Facebook, Microsoft, Disney, Nvidia, etc.) and from all walks of life. French companies are interested in the market and invest in a sustained way as a crossroads.
– creation of virtual laboratory simulations for studies and research. For example, performing experiments with virtual reality in a virtual environment, rather than in a real laboratory, especially in the context of dangerous or expensive experiments that cannot be carried out in a real laboratory.
– visualization of data in chemistry, such as to visualize molecular structures or chemical reactions in a 3D environment. This could help researchers better understand the data and identify patterns or relationships that might be difficult to spot in raw data.
– and of course allow the holding of virtual meetings between researchers in chemistry, or research partners.
– Virtual meetings with employees and partners located in different locations. Participants could connect to a shared virtual universe to discuss, present documents and data to each other, view presentations in virtual reality.
– Online training for employees and partners, take courses, participate in educational exercises and projects, interact with trainers.
– Presentation of products and services to customers and partners, exploration and testing of products and services and making transactions.
– Online technical assistance to customers. The latter could dialogue with the operator’s teams, receive instructions and advice for solving technical problems, or even view demonstrations in augmented reality.
– Network optimization by visualizing real-time data in 3D for better data understanding and faster decision making.
The Supply Chain
– Visualization of supply chain data in real time in 3D. This could help companies better understand the data and identify patterns or relationships that might be difficult to spot in raw data.
– Production planning through the use of 3D simulation tools. Employees could connect to a virtual universe to simulate layout scenarios to maximize the efficiency and profitability of production processes.
– Companies can use the “Metaverse” to collaborate with their suppliers and supply chain partners. Employees could connect to a virtual universe to chat, share documents and data, and even participate in virtual reality meetings.
– Businesses could track assets using augmented reality technologies. Employees could use their smartphone or tablet to scan QR codes to track products in real time.
“Global” or global players
Very regularly, industrial groups, Media, industry and other sectors announce that they are engaging and investing in the “Meaverse” market. Major groups include Meta Platforms, Inc. Tencent Holdings Ltd., ByteDance Ltd., NetEase, Inc., Nvidia Corporation, Epic Games, Inc, Roblox Corporation, Unity Technologies, Inc, Lilith Games, Nextech AR Solutions Corp. , The Sandbox, Active Theory, Decentraland, Microsoft Corporation, Antier Solutions Pvt. ltd.
After a period of observation, even a period of skepticism, a few actors got involved in the “Metaverse” in France. They come from all walks of life and from various sectors (technology, media, distributors and manufacturers, etc.). It must be said that the French government actively encourages and supports research and innovation in this field.
The main growth factors of the “Metaverse” market.
The emergence of new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) which itself is strongly supported by 5G,
The increase in demand for online services, especially with the strengthening and development of very high speed,
The increase in the demand for collaboration,
The growing interest in immersive experiences.
It is important to note that the “Metaverse” market is still under development and many challenges must be overcome before it becomes a significant economic reality, such as high development costs, barriers to high input, fragmentation and lack of standardization.
The outlook for the “Metaverse” market.
According to a recent study by Grand View Research, the global “Metaverse” market will grow from €34 billion in 2021 to €615 billion in 2030. “It will be a key part of entertainment in the future.
Media and entertainment, education, aerospace and defense are expected to propel the industry growth over the forecast period.
Big companies are trying to create new ways to engage with its customers.”
It is estimated that nearly 600 million monthly users are already on these platforms such as fortnite, roblox, minecraft, decentraland, sandbox….