Metaverse will entice a quarter of people to use it at least an hour daily by 2026

Organisations, however, should refrain from investing heavily in a specific metaverse as the market is still nascent and fragmented, Gartner says

The metaverse is touted as one future for how society will interact. AFP

The metaverse, the emerging digital space using the convergence of virtually-enhanced physical and digital reality, will be utilised by a quarter of people by 2026 to carry out daily activities, according to a new report from Gartner.

The immersive experiences the metaverse provides will affect every vertical that consumers interact with daily and would entice them to work, shop, study and seek entertainment on the platform, the Connecticut-based firm said in a note on Tuesday.

“Vendors are already building ways for users to replicate their lives in digital worlds. Activities are being conducted in separate environments; eventually, they will take place in a single environment – the metaverse," Marty Resnick, research vice president at Gartner, said.

The metaverse is touted as the future of how society will interact, and is being championed by Meta Platforms, the world's largest social media company, formerly known as Facebook.

The global metaverse industry was valued at $47.69 billion in 2020 and is projected to hit $828.95bn in 2028, growing at a compound annual rate of 43.3 per cent, according to Emergen Research.

Businesses can give potential customers an online tour of their products such as interior design and furniture, for example, through a remote presentation. Metaverse experiences can be close to the real thing.

Organisations have an opportunity to expand their business models in new ways by moving from a digital business to a metaverse business, Mr Resnick said. Nearly 30 per cent of them will have products and services ready by 2026.

However, he urged caution in investing heavily in a specific metaverse, as adoption is still nascent and fragmented.

“It is still too early to know which investments will be viable in the long term, but product managers should take the time to learn, explore and prepare for a metaverse in order to position themselves competitively.”

Updated: February 22, 2022, 9:37 AM