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Arthur D. Little predicts the future of the Metaverse: Blue Shift report

The Metaverse, Beyond Fantasy is the most recent in a line of new reports from Arthur D. Little (ADL) under the ‘Blue Shift’ banner that examine the effects of new technologies on industry, society, and people, providing a realistic image of the Metaverse for businesses, paying particular attention to the technology required to make it possible.

While the Metaverse is not a new concept, the past few years have seen a rapid acceleration of both development and adoption, driven by the convergence of three industries: gaming; collaboration and productivity tools; and social media and networks. Yet while the size of the Metaverse market is difficult to estimate, the report emphasizes that companies should not underestimate its potential importance to their business. The report provides a cautious, low-end forecast, which estimates that the current Metaverse market, excluding infrastructure and enabling technologies, is estimated to be worth $50 billion. These numbers are from ADL analysis based on recent credible forecasts for AR, VR, and MR software and hardware markets across multiple consumer, enterprise, and industrial segments.

The report looks at the key enabling technologies of the Metaverse, including artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain, and provides a six-layer architectural framework for understanding the Metaverse’s current development status. While the report concludes that businesses today face a world of unconnected proto-metaverses, with technological challenges remaining, it also urges them to take steps now to understand the current market and position themselves for the future.

Dr. Albert Meige, Director of Blue Shift at Arthur D. Little, comments: “The Metaverse is essentially the future version of the internet, with new technologies poised to transform online usage and business models in the same way that the smartphone revolutionized the web. And while we are still about a decade away from a complete, fully immersive version of the Metaverse, huge opportunities already exist. The question is, how to grasp them?

“This report delivers an unprecedented analysis of the technological and business maturity of the Metaverse. And some of the conclusions it reaches differ quite widely from what other commentators have said previously.”

Speaking at the upcoming Dubai Metaverse Assembly, Thomas Kuruvilla, Managing Partner, Arthur D. Little, Middle East, said: “In an accelerating shift from the classical Web to the Metaverse, there are huge opportunities for industries in the digital economy. Businesses should not underestimate the importance and potential of the Metaverse – taking steps now to understand the current market and position themselves for the future. The new report offers a realistic picture for businesses, focusing in particular on the technologies that are necessary to realize the Metaverse.”

Considering the opportunities it is useful to segment the Metaverse market into three types: consumer, enterprise, and industrial. Many real applications for the Metaverse already exist in most sectors for consumers, enterprises, and industry. However, these are currently implemented as proto-metaverses. Additionally, there are current infrastructure opportunities.

Taking into account the current technological challenges that still need to be overcome, The report conservatively assumes 10%-30% new market space created by further progress in Metaverse adoption up to 2025, over and above recent forecasts.

Looking ahead, technological advances are likely to transform the quality and cost of the virtual experience and lower the barriers to adoption. The technology required to realize the Metaverse as the “future of the Internet” is not likely to be available for a decade. In the meantime, the proto-metaverse of the present still offers considerable opportunities for many industries.

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