Last year, investors spent $350 million across 65,000 transactions to buy land in The Sandbox. This was quite a leap of faith. Why? Because you can’t physically visit the plots or build anything real on them. The Sandbox is a Metaverse – a persistent virtual 3D world that can only be entered via a computer screen.
The Sandbox ‘ land grab ’ is recent proof the Metaverse is hot. At the recent Mobile World Congress, Metaverse was everywhere – from the show floor to the conference sessions. To help assess potential in mobile, there is a need for good answers to the following questions –
- Can you simply scroll the Metaverse on a phone screen ?
- Do you need an avatar ?
- Do you have to wear a headset to enter the Metaverse ?
- Will there be one Metaverse or hundreds ?
- How is the Metaverse linked to Web 3.0 ?
- How is the Metaverse linked to Blockchain ?
- Is the Metaverse viewed as an addition to the existing internet – or – is it a replacement ?
- Which companies are doing the most interesting work ?
- How will the Metaverse change business / work / education / social / gaming / etc. ?
With the metaverse being young today it’s like 1992 when the Internet was referred to as the information superhighway. At that point, no one could have predicted the explosion of new companies and capabilities in business and socially – including new markets and the appeal Google, Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, etc. initially and more recently Tinder, TikTok, Slack, Pokemon Go, etc. Because of the potential, some of the world’s most innovative companies are exploring and innovating in the metaverse to expand their opportunities, grow current markets, expand or create new markets, increase their brand value, etc. Interestingly, while headsets are typically used today, there are initiatives and newer technology that do not require holographic 3D to access the Metaverse. An example of this is Minecraft and Roblox are games turned into virtual worlds. These games demonstrate many of the qualities we associate with the Metaverse concept – persistence, avatars, mass participation etc. – but can be accessed easily on a smartphone.
It’s revealing that huge brands such as Nike, H&M and Sotheby’s are already building prototype presences in these 3D worlds.
Another area attracting considerable interest is the intersection of blockchain, Web 3.0 and Metaverse. The aforementioned Sandbox project is leading this charge. It is a virtual world based on the Ethereum blockchain and with its own native cryptocurrency, SAND. Players can create game experiences in The Sandbox for free, but they can also acquire plots of land represented as NFTs on the platform.
The Metaverse requires instant connectivity and responsiveness as well as great visuals to provide a great User Experience (UX). Moving forward, the Metaverse is expected to create significant business opportunities (an $8 trillion opportunity).
For additional insight, see –
- An outline of the origins of the Metaverse
- Market definitions
- Detailed examples of existing projects
- An analysis of the technological advances that are making the Metaverse feasible
- An exploration how MEF’s key areas of focus – payments, identity, trust, communications – apply to the Metaverse