The companies listed below are pushing the boundaries of technology, social understanding and software. The concept of virtual reality may have its roots in the gaming industry but for sure – it is not staying there. It is clear that all these technologies will change the way we communicate, work, live, play and enjoy our free time.
A number of big companies like BMW are already invested in the metaverse as they see the potential to bring more efficiency in the production process. Others, like Nike and Tinder, for instance plan to employ VR technologies to improve social experience for people.
The Omniverse by Nvidia
A true innovator in the metaverse is Nvidia which has developed a platform allowing its users to experience physical laws in the digital space. Enterprises can create their own metaverse – a true simulation of their real-world business or environment.
Their Omniverse is a fully advanced solution for enterprises and it builds on different business cases. Firstly, it allows designers to collaborate while working, enabling them to get a real representation of their project. Their platform helps creatives to visualize the end result of their projects – from designing buildings and cities to 3D figures converted into workable models.
Secondly, their tool allows the building of a digital copy of a factory or a physical environment where enterprises can test different scenarios. It means creating a world featuring digital humans as well as autonomous robots that obey the laws of physics. This application of their platform provides value for the testing of autonomous vehicles and robots.
A great example is the virtual factory of BMW where buildings, cars, robots and people work together in real-time so employees and planners can access information and simulate changes. The example shows the amount of detail and information which can be displayed in the metaverse. It is truly impressive how close to reality the simulation is.
Last but not least, Nvidia has developed an engine for building avatars that can be useful for games, AI service software and all metaverse applications which require virtual characters. At the moment it is used as customer support that can take orders, understand and answer questions as well as sell add-ons.
Have you been to an Epic concert?
Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, turned its popular game into a social platform with over 350 million users. Its goal is to create professional 3D content as well as to make 3D, AR and VR technology more accessible and of higher quality. For instance, the company was the first to bring experiences like virtual music concerts and dance parties where users can choose how to dress their avatar.
Last July, Epic Games raised USD 1.78 billion at a valuation of USD 17 billion to develop further its gaming platform. In 2021, the company received another USD 1 billion in funding at a valuation of USD 28.7 billion. The funds will be used to fulfil the company’s long-term metaverse vision. Sony Group is among the main supporters of Epic Games, investing USD 200 million during the last funding round.
According to Bloomberg, the company’s CEO Tim Sweeney is the second biggest supporter of the Metaverse after Mark Zuckerberg. Sweeney believes that the metaverse has the potential to become a multi-trillion dollar industry. According to him, the next three years will be decisive in terms of who will be the first to get a billion users and win as a leader in the space. However, he also said that the metaverse will be open for everybody because, similar to the internet, no one can own it.
The company hopes to add more social experiences to Fortnite and to eventually increase the monthly active users from 60 million to a billion. Even if the company does not become first in this metaverse race, Sweeney believes that the technology behind the Unreal engine, a game engine developed by Epic Games, can help visualize products like a Ferrari or even the whole manufacturing process. Actually, the Ferrari was introduced in the game in the past year.
Visit Nikeland developed with Roblox
Nike works in collaboration with Roblox to develop its virtual world Nikeland. There users can play different games, try new branded shoes and even run marathons in them. The world allows you to earn points and gives users an immersive gaming and shopping experience.
But let’s go back for a minute and see what Roblox is. According to the Verge, over half of US kids under the age of 16 played a Roblox game in 2020. The platform has achieved a 147.60% growth for the year. Although all Roblox games are free, users can make in-app purchases which bring revenue to the company. All developers share the pie and everyone can actually make money from the platform.
The company has a native digital currency, Robux, which is used for payments in the ecosystem. Developers are also paid in this currency and are able to change their Robux to real money.
The platform’s major advantage is its ease of use as even children can create games on it. As soon as a given game gains popularity, it becomes a multiplayer game.
All kids know their games but the platform is just scratching the surface with the older audience.
Set up your avatar and start dating
Tinder is building its dating metaverse and will offer meetings with digital avatars. The company already has experience with games. It says that services like “The Explore”, which allow users to see potential matches of people similar to them, have helped love-seekers to make more matches. Additionally, Tinder’s game Swipe Night attracted about 20 million users and registered 26% more matches than a regular night.
Up until now, the company relied mainly on photos which users had to swipe left or right. However, in order to attract the Gen Z, it is adding more features like videos, for instance. Tinder is working to introduce more interactive and social features as the post-Covid environment has brought the need for such virtual social experiences. At the moment, the company is planning to add video and group chat features but is also exploring the option of having its own cryptocurrency for in-app purchases.