Metaverse is a kombination of the words meta and universe. Meta loosely translated stands for the next level/the next dimension and universe for the totality of space, time, matter and energy. But in fact, this is not an astrophysical concept, but the future of the Internet, as a three-dimensional world in which people will work, game, socialize and shop virtually in the future. Three-dimensional, because virtual, augmented and physical reality merge.

The metaverse will consist of several worlds, i.e. networked digital spaces, and the visitors will be integrated in the form of figures, digital identities or avatars. You can co-design the worlds, live there virtually, network or even work and party. An interaction among the avatars and with the digital environment is established through virtual reality technology. Companies can create their own digital worlds, offer digital products or even sell new digital services. The boundaries of today’s e-commerce are thus being transcended – including the payment process – and new digital business models are emerging.

Social media and gaming companies are already working on their vision of a walkable Internet. Ideally, however, the metaverse runs in a decentralized manner – i.e. it is not controlled by anyone, i.e. no company. This way, the different worlds could be connected and digital properties, currencies as well as avatars could be taken from one world to the other. To achieve this, however, the companies would have to agree on standardized structures and interfaces. Otherwise, different worlds will emerge side by side, each with its own digital currencies (Ethereum|Gas) and payment processes.

IIn this evolution of the Internet, the metaverse will not work without blockchain, tokens, and smart contracts for digital identity protection and automated payment processes. Furthermore, Artificial Intelligence is a key technology, only it allows systems to learn and thus optimize the Metaverse experience. If you believe current forecasts and particularly innovative thought leaders, it is already time to start thinking about future business and a metaverse strategy for your own company – not only in the B2C context, but also in the B2B context. Companies should be able to save huge costs by moving distribution channels into the metaverse, and new digital products are creating new ways to generate value. Customer service becomes virtual, business trips are largely unnecessary, trade fairs can be experienced entirely digitally …

No one can know when this vision will become reality and in what form. Initially, we can expect to see the implementation of the platform economy, the Internet of Values and Web3. These could be the precursors on the way to the metaverse and thus the transition would be fluent in the coming years and decades. Component by component, feature by feature, the metaverse will be built.

In some movies and also series we can already get a glimpse of the metaverse future. Whether we will actually attend parties from the couch with VR glasses in the future is something each and every one of us will have to decide for themselves. After years of pandemics, the current trend is more towards real meetings in the real world. But before the pandemic, we couldn’t imagine working predominantly digitally, from the home office and without business trips. However, for successful implementation, virtual reality technology – like all the other technologies mentioned – still needs to evolve. Currently, there are still too many people with “VR sickness” or wearing the glasses is uncomfortable in the long run. Demonstrations also show, for example, that many people are inhibited about putting on VR glasses.