Adobe addresses business opportunities for the metaverse and how to get started
- Metaverse technology platforms are expected to grow into a lucrative sector worth US$800 billion by 2024
- Businesses should start investing in 3D and immersive content development today to be metaverse-ready
The possibility for financial gain offered by what has been regarded as the “metaverse” has attracted many businesses. The question is, “Is metaverse relevant for your business if you’re not involved in gaming or virtual reality?” Should you disregard it? Well, perhaps not. In fact, the metaverse might impact the use case for your business because there are a lot of opportunities in store for you.
Think about it, having a well-thought-out digital strategy and actively seeking out possibilities to maximize a company’s online presence are already necessities for businesses. Today, one of these possibilities is the metaverse.
By 2026, 25% of individuals, according to research firm Gartner, will spend at least an hour every day in the metaverse. Fear of losing out on potential money is a strong motivator because metaverse technology platforms are expected to grow into a lucrative sector worth US$800 billion by 2024.
Only time will tell if the competing extended reality experiences coalesce into a single integrated metaverse. But the following is now obvious: Businesses from all sectors are already looking at metaverse components as a way of connecting and finding new revenue streams, such as extended reality headsets, blockchain and nonfungible tokens (NFTs), IoT, and cloud technologies.
Tech Wire Asia had the opportunity to interview Simon Dale, Managing Director, Southeast Asia (SEA) & Korea, Adobe, to discuss the advantages companies may reap from utilizing the metaverse for their business operations.
The adoption of metaverse mean to businesses
An immersive experience pulls you into a digitally created, often three-dimensional, world. Many shared immersive experiences will allow you to manipulate and interact with virtual objects and with other visitors. According to Dale, metaverses are a unique type of immersive experience that are persistent and shared. They present an extensive virtual world in which you can interact with other people who may be miles away from you.
“For businesses, as the digital-first world gets more interactive, customers will expect businesses to deliver digitally-led, immersive experiences. Metaverses and shared immersive experiences enable entirely new kinds of collaboration and co-creation and unlock new ways for brands and customers to interact. That can play out in many ways, from remote co-workers developing a new product together in a virtual design studio to customers customizing a jacket or pair of pants to make it their own, then seeing exactly how it will look on an avatar that mimics their shape and size,” commented Dale.
There are many types of immersive experiences beyond metaverses. A few examples in which they can be adopted by businesses include:
- An augmented reality shopping experience that helps consumers make decisions by showing 3D images of virtual goods in the physical world.
- A virtual reality job training that helps new workers learn a complicated task.
- An immersive virtual museum that exhibits vastly more of the museum’s collection than can be displayed physically.
Steps businesses need to take to begin their metaverse journey
Dale pointed out that to be metaverse-ready, businesses should start investing in 3D and immersive content creation now to avoid playing catch up later on. Brands can start by developing a clearly articulated strategy for how they want to engage in the metaverse, including the types of immersive experiences and content they want to create. Take their deep customer and market understanding and find ways to create value for customers in this rapidly developing digital space.
Businesses can use these skill sets today to bring remarkable efficiency to product design and marketing workflows — and businesses will gain the technical proficiency they need to make the most of the metaverse as it becomes an everyday reality.
This is also the time for businesses to think about how metaverses and other shared immersive platforms can deepen their relationships with customers. The metaverse will fundamentally change how brands attract and engage customers — and now is the time to plan how this medium will change the customer experience.
“Like every technology and social medium, success is determined by their manner of utilization. The sooner businesses build expertise, experiment, and learn from their experiences, the more likely they can create immersive experiences that resonate with their customers and the community,” he said.
How can businesses benefit from the metaverse space?
For Dale, investing in 3D and immersive content creation today can help businesses build a competitive advantage in customer experience and enable workers to get ahead of the skills curve in immersive content creation.
The pandemic has highlighted the benefits of 3D creativity in product design, marketing and e-commerce – businesses who made early investments could create 3D-rendered photo-realistic product images remotely, without a photoshoot.
Benefits from the metaverse space includes:
- Product design: 3D creativity can shave weeks or months off the development of products, eliminating much of the need to build and ship physical prototypes and allowing companies to test demand for a product on social channels before they’ve even created a physical version of the design.
- Marketing and ecommerce assets: With one set of rendered product images, marketers can easily change the background to make the images appropriate for different cultures and platforms. Changes to images can be made in minutes on a software, as opposed to the days or weeks involved in getting a crew of artists and technicians back into a photo studio.
- Freedom to experiment: Tomorrow’s immersive experiences will grow out of thousands of short-term experiments and partnerships among brands. Many of these opportunities will crop up quickly and having the flexibility to quickly test and iterate in 3D will make it much easier for brands to participate and find out what works and what doesn’t.
Challenges that businesses may face when embarking on the metaverse journey
Dale highlighted that there are many ways to approach the metaverse, but not every aspect of the metaverse will value-add to businesses. Therefore, business leaders must consider their approach and develop a clear engagement strategy in this new digital platform. Senior leadership must take the time to consider all the potential benefits and implications of the metaverse for their business in order to realize future returns on investment. It is equally important that the metaverse strategy aligns with the business’ core strategy and meets customers’ needs.
“Marketing will be critical. The metaverse will fundamentally change how businesses attract and engage customers, which can impact the customer journey. Creating value for customers in the metaverse will depend on the business’ ability to understand and adapt to new customer behaviors as they emerge,” said Dale.
Today, businesses are already grappling with existing data silos, data deluge, and continually evolving regulations. Immersive experiences in the metaverse will mean an additional layer of data that must be captured securely and compliant with data governance and existing data privacy and security regulations. For these reasons, businesses should accelerate their journey towards becoming a data-driven organization with privacy compliance policies, to get ahead of emerging data privacy laws.
Adobe’s role in helping businesses succeed in the metaverse
For nearly 40 years, Adobe has helped creatives and brands adapt and succeed through major technological shifts, including the rise of desktop publishing and digital imaging, the development of web and mobile interfaces, and the growth of digital marketing and commerce.
The development of the metaverse and other immersive experiences is the natural evolution of trends in 3D content creation; personalized, content-driven marketing experiences; and the development of digital assets and artwork — all areas in which Adobe has long been a leader.
Adobe will continue to push the frontiers of 3D and immersive creation and make it accessible to all. Adobe Creative Cloud and Substance tools are already powering immersive experiences across entertainment, automotive, retail and other industries.
“Our Substance 3D tools are industry standards for creating beautiful and realistic 3D objects and scenes. Aero enables you to create augmented reality experiences with no complex coding. And our flagship products like Photoshop and Illustrator are important parts of many 3D workflows. Our recently debuted Substance 3D Modeler, allows creators to sculpt 3D objects with an interface that combines natural, fluid gestures in virtual reality and the precision of a desktop interface. We’re working to democratize 3D creation, developing accessible tools that anyone can use to express their ideas and work with others to co-create, including within a shared immersive experience,” commented Dale.
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