Wondering how the metaverse will impact business value in the future?
I recently spoke with Emma Ridderstad, CEO of Warpin Media, an immersive technology solutions company focused on bringing the Enterprise Metaverse to forward-thinking organizations.
When I asked Emma what the metaverse means to her, she said she imagines the metaverse as everything we do online today — through our smartphones and our computers — but being able to do it all in immersive 3D, via virtual and augmented reality.
In the metaverse, we’ll be able to seamlessly move between worlds so we can work better, play better, and communicate more freely. Emma says, “This technology enables us to engage with more senses at the same time, so it’s a much richer experience.”
What Is the Future Business Value of the Metaverse?
Warpin Media works with innovative companies that already recognize the potential power of the metaverse, and we discussed some unique use cases that companies are already launching.
For example, businesses are already using augmented reality and virtual reality to provide experiences for consumers and engage them in ways they have never done before. When a new Star Wars movie premiered in Japan, clothing retailer H&M set up a designer booth in their Tokyo store. Shoppers could put on Magic Leap augmented reality glasses to turn plain black t-shirts into customized apparel that they could actually take home with them.
Other companies are finding ways to use AR and VR to enable customers to try on or try out their merchandise. Luxury car company Ferrari, for example, showcases their models in augmented reality, so car shoppers can “walk” around the cars and even delve into the cars’ engines and braking systems.
Many retailers are also figuring out how to offer 3D virtual versions of their products. More and more consumers will be interested in purchasing NFT garments that mirror physical clothing and accessories.
Businesses can also add value by incorporating storytelling into their immersive experiences for customers. One whiskey company collaborated with a hotel to create a new cocktail, then created an immersive experience that transports the consumer to Scotland to fly over the Highlands, lets them get an inside look into how whiskey is made, and gives them a virtual tour of a distillery. After the virtual tour, you take your virtual reality glasses off, and your whiskey cocktail is sitting in front of you. These kinds of immersive brand storytelling experiences are a great way for companies to connect with customers in innovative ways.
Emma adds, “From the consumer's point of view, you will have so much more information about the brand and the product that you're buying — because this is the first time you're not constricted to a 2D printed ad or commercial. You can really work with the product…like interacting with a normal ad, but making that come alive in 3D.”
What Forward-Thinking Companies Should Do to Prepare
When I asked what advice Emma has for companies who want to get started with metaverse technology, Emma said:
“Every company should start thinking about using virtual reality for their own in-store or staff training. Companies can experience the metaverse through virtual and augmented reality and use it to practice things that you already need to practice within the company — and you reap all the benefits from saving costs and higher retention.”
She also recommends having a policy of thinking big, starting small, and testing often.
“Have the end goal of what you can imagine with this technology, but start with a very small project and see how it goes,” Emma adds. “You're emerging yourself in a whole new way, but then take a look at how the technology can solve the problem that a company has.”
Companies should also bring in diverse voices to contribute to projects. When entering the metaverse space, companies don’t just need tech experts — they need people who understand human behaviors, so we can create safe and secure metaverse spaces that people want to be in.
A Larger Vision for the Metaverse
In her work with Warpin, Emma has a larger vision for the metaverse.
“My hope is that we can use this technology to enhance the human experience…to build bridges between humans. I want us to work with empathy and creativity and use the metaverse to bring people together.”