New research finds that by 2026, 25% of everyone will spend at least one hour per day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social and/or entertainment.
According to a new report from data insights firm Gartner, a burgeoning metaverse will develop with a fully operational virtual economy enabled by digital currencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), impacting every business that consumers interact with every day.
“Vendors are already building ways for users to replicate their lives in digital worlds,” said Marty Resnick, research vice president at Gartner. “From attending virtual classrooms to buying digital land and constructing virtual homes, these activities are currently being conducted in separate environments. Eventually, they will take place in a single environment – the metaverse – with multiple destinations across technologies and experiences.”
Gartner defines a metaverse as “a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality.”
“It is persistent, providing enhanced immersive experiences, as well as device independent and accessible through any type of device, from tablets to head-mounted displays.”
Resnick says that the metaverse will allow enterprises to drastically enhance their business model. He predicts that by 2026, 30% of all organizations in the world will have products and services designed for the metaverse.
While optimistic on a rapid expansion of the metaverse, Gartner admits things are still in their very early stages, and that speculators shouldn’t be putting all their eggs in one basket.
“It is still too early to know which investments will be viable in the long term, but product managers should take the time to learn, explore and prepare for a metaverse in order to position themselves competitively,” said Resnick.
Of course, big business has already begun fulfilling Gartner’s prediction. Over the past year, metaverse hype has prompted tech giants like Microsoft to make massive investments in the space, while Facebook did a complete metaverse-themed rebrand. In the crypto space, metaverse tokens have appeared among the best performing coins on the markets, with altcoins like Axie Infinity (AXS), The Sandbox (SAND), and Decentraland (MANA) vastly outperforming Bitcoin and Ethereum in 2021.