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Enter the metaverse

Estimated by Bloomberg to be about $800 billion in size, the metaverse is a fast-growing attention space where people live out alternate digital realities in play, socialisation, and work. This burgeoning sector is so hot that there is even a Metaverse ETF ($META) created to attract investments into that space.

What is the big deal about this space?

Google Trends shows us ( how the search interest for this term has grown tremendously just this year. As interest begins to gain traction, businesses are likely to want a piece of it, one way or another.

Being the buzzword on the street now, the metaverse is basically a variety of “virtual experiences, environments and assets” ( The level of connectivity and symbiosis within this space is phenomenal.

Imagine the digital version of you, or an avatar, putting on clothes like in the real world, a hairdo, driving a certain brand of car, hanging out in certain shopping districts. You can travel through various spaces in real-time with your friends, socialise, interact with other people across the globe, and even buy/sell/trade items like a marketplace.

In May 2021, one interesting headline that made the news globally was that a digital Gucci Dionysus bag was sold on Roblox for more than $4,000. That was not the thing that “wowed” the digital world. It was the fact that firstly, the digital price was higher than the price of the physical bag, and secondly, it was not even a limited collection or an NFT, meaning, the bag can be easily copied and replicated.

Here are three areas that we see businesses stepping into, at least in the medium term.

Brand positioning

This comprises taking up branding or advertising spaces in the virtual world. This can come as a form of product positioning. We already see that in movies where a luxury car or watch brand takes up the wrist or the drive of the protagonist in a spy thriller movie.

Just think about it - video games like Roblox ($RBLX) allow players to build their own worlds. Those who own pieces of art as an NFT (non-fungible token), that is a metaversal experience in and of itself. How about going to a digital work party with just your avatar?

The possibilities are endless for the metaverse.

Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain

This is already being implemented, with tokens that are specific to a particular game. The metaverse will take this to the next level where cryptocurrencies will become common-fare given that physical cash is not possible. Buy, sell, gamble and trade in crypto. Collaborate with blockchain and remunerate in real-time with crypto.

Owning pieces of a property? With tokenisation, consider it done, as you can now own a part of a skyscraper property or an island without owning the entire piece.

Harnessing new technologies

The International Data Corporation projects that AR/VR which are essentials of the metaverse, will witness exponential growth by nearly 4 times from 2020 to 2024. Already, there are AR/VR headsets being built for the purposes of gaming.

AR, VR, augmented reality, virtual reality
Augmented reality / Virtual reality

With toys, gaming companies, we understand with Wright’s Law that with the advancements in tech, the cost curves of development and harnessing these technologies will keep decreasing and flatten out eventually. By that time, adoption will become ubiquitous. Companies that are seeking for a pivot within its business space can consider similar market technologies.

Examples of companies hot in pursuit at the moment.

Facebook is one of the tech social media giants that is trying to capitalise on its current user base to have a headstart in this space by creating “Horizon”, which is Facebook’s experimental VR environment. He shared that he wanted as many people to “experience VR”, “jump into the metaverse” and “have social experiences within it”. To bring people into the experience, Facebook will roll out Oculus headsets that complement the “entry point” into this new VR social space.

Our Bureau’s take

The possibilities of the Matrix being replayed in our lifetime is high, especially since Neuralink, which is being successfully brought to the fore by Elon Musk, deals with neurotechnology by implanting brain–machine interfaces within people’s minds and allowing them to control objects with their minds. This technology has the potential of integrating people into the metaverse, and have them live their lives through it fully.

There are already experts who are having red flags behind these implanted brain chips and are particularly concerned that this technology will lead to a mind-control of sorts. To this end, whilst there are utopic views that speak of great possibilities, the dystopia that may result out of good intentions should suffice as caution as we tread through this space thoughtfully.

If you’re looking for a design / brand communications partner to journey with your business through this trend, we’re here to help. Drop us an email at and we will be in touch shortly.

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SYL+JAS (c) 2021. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog can be republished, rewritten/edited or repurposed without expressed permission from SYL+JAS.


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