Top 9 Metaverse predictions 2023

Virtual Metaverse spaces in frames
Hans Elster
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The Metaverse is increasingly linking real and virtual world. In the following, we will show you the direction in which we believe the Metaverse will develop in 2023.

A century ago, the idea that every major city could eventually have an airport sounded like science fiction. In the 1940s, the CEO of IBM was convinced that the global market for computers would be limited to maybe five. Today, air travel is routine and nearly everyone owns a laptop and smartphone. Technologies that are capable of massively changing the world we live in are always viewed critically and misjudged.

We tend to overestimate the short-term impact of a technology and underestimate the long-term impact.“

Amaras Law by Roy Amara

This is currently also the case with the Metaverse: The opportunities for a solid link between the real and virtual worlds are gigantic, but they take time. Why? Because the market and users first have to adapt to the new possibilities. In the following, we will show you the direction in which we believe the metaverse will develop in 2023.

#1 Big changes need time

As rocket-like as Meta started the hype around the Metaverse at the end of 2021, this initial hype has also subsided just as quickly. This development corresponds exactly to the Gartner Hype Cycle, according to which new technologies go through five different phases. These include an initial hype phase and a phase of disillusionment. The big Metaverse, in which everyone leads a digital social life via avatar, did not come.  Instead, a "multiverse of Metaverses" is slowly developing. In 2023, more and more companies will recognize this fact and develop their own Metaverse strategy. In the long run, it will be critical to find ways to connect the different Metaverses in a meaningful and fluid way.  People should be able to jump between different Metaverse experiences without having to download new applications or switch devices.

#2 Glasses not required

The traditional image of Metaverse users in your head probably shows a cartoon character wearing VR goggles and gloves like the X-1 Haptic Bootsuit from Ready Player One. Reality is far less futuristic. No one should need VR goggles or even a battery-powered full-body suit to enter the Metaverse. Your normal cell phone, laptop, or even TV will suffice as a window to the Metaverse in 2023. The access device will increasingly no longer play a role.

#3 Extension of the real world

And that brings us to point 3: The Metaverse of this year and beyond will not be disconnected from the real world. It will complement the real world by providing additional context and information about everything from the city you're visiting to the shopping decisions you'll make.
The lines between real and virtual won't be so clear anymore. Imagine, for example, that you want to see an item of clothing in the store in a different color that's not in stock. How convenient would it be if you could simply project other versions in front of you with your smartphone and look at them from all sides? 
By 2023, more and more people will begin to see the Metaverse as a complement and extension, rather than a replacement, of real-world operations. This will result in a limitless horizon of business opportunities.

#4 Smooth transitions between Metaverse worlds

The question of how people should move between the different metaverse worlds is one we already addressed in our first prediction. If a user is looking for a pair of shoes, for example, and wants to compare the offers of different store metaverses, it is extremely inconvenient if a new avatar has to be created again and again, the device changed, or a new app installed. Standard solutions are needed here, on the basis of which environments and product databases can communicate with each other. Applications must be web-based and usable across devices. Only in this way will seamless phygital experiences be possible that offer real added value. In the avatar space, it is also likely that standards for maintaining an avatar identity in different metaverses will emerge over the course of this decade. Ideally, your avatar is your property, not the property of the space you are visiting.

Providers that enable smooth transitions between individual metaverses will come out ahead beyond 2023. Standardized tools and apps for content creation are possible, as are intuitive interfaces that make maintenance less burdensome. Platforms like rooom, which allow content once created to be visited consistently across a range of devices and operating systems, offer immense advantages in this regard.

What does phygital mean?

"Phygital" is a word made up of the words "physical" and "digital". It describes the combination of real and digital experiences that is becoming increasingly common in today's world. Examples include: Shopping in a physical store while searching for additional offers via smartphone, or using virtual realities in a real environment.

#5 Integration with backend databases and sources

Many headlines about VR are mostly about fancy graphics and sensory immersion in fantastical worlds. But the real driver of the Metaverse for retail and business is in the background: at its core, it's about data and how a 3D environment uses objects (like a product SKU) stored elsewhere. Currently, many Metaverse objects are simply colors and textures created as standalone graphics with no reference to manufacturers' specifications. This will change in the coming years. In fact, it's key to the success of the entire Metaverse, for reasons we'll discuss later when we get into the development of NFTs. When you look at a product in the Metaverse - be it a bicycle, a chair, or a 1,000-year-old antique - its characteristics and qualities must exactly match those in the real world.  The bike must be the right size relative to your avatar; it must look the same from different angles; and if it's made of metal, it must shine. The starting point for these features is actual data about the product. 
2023 will give us first metaverses with stunning graphics and great data.

#6 The blockchain technology in the Metaverse

When you say blockchain, most people think of Bitcoin. But in fact, cryptocurrencies are the least important part of the technology. What's exciting about blockchain is the way it enables self-enforcing contracts.

Of course, a real-world object can also contain terms of sale in the form of a printed document. But in the Metaverse, terms of use and terms and conditions can be built directly into the object, and the customer automatically agrees to abide by them as a fundamental part of the transaction.

This doesn't mean the contract is one-sided. Such innovations also give power and choice to the customer. Imagine a virtual object is provided with a pattern of the customer's choice: The number of pieces available can be limited, increasing exclusivity. And the customer has the assurance that their provider won't disappear if their internet provider goes down: blockchain-using organizations are decentralized and autonomous (DAOs), which means that a business won't close simply because a provider goes bankrupt. (Or because the authorities don't like what it represents).

#7 NFTs will be part of the mix

Non Fungible Tokens are another technology that is experiencing a downturn after initial hype. Expect the real idea behind NFTs to regain traction in 2023 and beyond. They are not cutesy graphics of bored primates - they are stores of value. Applications for NFTs could include authenticity checks for digital artwork or proof of attendance and certificates for training or events. Reward systems based on NFTs are also possible.

#8 New tools for new worlds

Regardless of the potential of a new technology, no developer community will emerge unless there are apps and libraries to help them develop and innovate faster. 

Therefore, an eighth area that will evolve in 2023 is the area of tools and apps. A platform like rooom makes it lengths easier to create virtual objects, manage them in their 3D environment, and connect them to real-world business tools like warehouse management and product databases

After all, your 3D metaverse store is not a work of art. It's a point of sale, little different from physical or Internet stores, and it faces the same business challenges: It needs to get to market quickly, offer interesting products, and provide customers with a positive experience. This includes applications that make it easy for even non-tech-savvy employees to drive sales. rooom is a leading producer of such tools and is continuously working to bring new tools and capabilities to market with its platform.

#9 Webshops as reliable places

Finally, let's address the big secret of Metaverse adaptation. In order for you to fully engage with a 3D world like a chain store, entertainment space, or tourist attraction, you need to be confident that it "really exists." You need to be confident that you can visit the world again and again without fear that it will suddenly disappear. To do this, users must be given opportunities to actively engage.

Outside of lower-resolution applications like the games Roblox and Minecraft, relatively few metaverse spaces are "owned" by their users. This is especially true for retail companies. For the most part, a retail metaverse is a private space that customers can visit without having a reason to return. 

The creators of the most thriving online environments know that user engagement is essential to a vibrant space. As a result, we expect to see an increase in "user-owned" business spaces starting in 2023, where companies open up their metaverses to customer creativity. When people invest more time and energy in your part of the metaverse, they feel closer to you - and move from customers to fans ... and eventually to your most loyal advocates.

Conclusion: The downturn enables the upturn

In summary, no technological change ever goes smoothly. The first movies were static scenes filmed on a stage, like theater before. The first television shows consisted of people standing around a microphone, like a radio show. It takes time to realize the true potential of a new medium. And the Metaverse is just getting started. 

As in the early years of the Internet, more use cases and business cases will develop over time. Who would have thought in the early 2000s what incredible opportunities would open up? Those who took advantage of the Internet early on are some of the most successful companies today. At rooom, we're working hard to create the tools and platforms that enable businesses to profit in the same way as these visionaries - starting today.

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Hans Elster
Hans Elstner

CEO & Founder of rooom

The digital innovator in Hans was brought to life when he received his first PC. Instead of just playing computer games like…

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