Broadly speaking, the Metaverse is a hypothetical iteration of the internet that features a single, universal and immersive virtual world. This is facilitated by the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets.
After sieving through a lot of statistical and monetary data associated with this space, I have found that most studies see the Metaverse growing at a rapid rate in the near to mid-term.
The total market capitalization of this space is set to increase from its 2020 valuation of $41.9 billion to a whopping $1.23T by 2030. This is expanding at a compound annual growth rate of (CAGR) of 40.4% from 2021 to 2030. Not only that, some analysts estimate this space to grow and reach a valuation of $8T to $30T over the coming decade.
In this regard, I am convinced that the technological proposition put forth by the metaverse stands to revolutionize a whole host of industries. For example, a virtual 3D world is not bound by the limitations of space and time. People can work, play, and hang out with one another using their digital avatars, allowing them to attend events, and participate in activities they would not have been able to otherwise.
The market segments which could be revolutionized by the metaverse
I see the influence of the metaverse expanding into realms previously thought to be impossible. Here are a few industries that I personally believe could be revamped thanks to the influence of the Metaverse.
Through the use of digital clothing trends, many of the steps preceding the actual physical production of garments can be streamlined. To this point, I can say from personal experience that virtual dresses can be used for a wide array of utilitarian purposes. These include modeling, sampling, and marketing even before their physical iterations are issued. This can not only help reduce the industry’s carbon footprint but also help mitigate many of the other environmental impacts associated with the lifecycle of fashion items greatly.
From a retail standpoint, I’d like to add that Metaverse-centric clothing can bypass issues related to overproduction — one of the biggest issues affecting the fashion industry today. Manufacturers can produce a fixed number of garments that are directly related to their metaverse sales.
That said, I personally believe that the most important utility of the Metaverse when it comes to redefining fashion is its ability to allow shoppers to use their digital avatars to go to various stores. They can try out different articles of clothing before making a purchase. This can help companies, labels, and fashion houses gain access to a “borderless presence” of sorts that can enhance their brand awareness seamlessly.
Another industry I see benefitting from the growth of the metaverse is the education sector. So much so that there are numerous experts who see this technological realm as having an irreversible impact on student learning. This is because the metaverse affords educators the possibility to engage their students using a more immersive style of teaching. But also, they can model their education practices in a manner that is conducive to creating a more hands-on experience.
In fact, there are already some schools that have taken a liking to this approach. For example, the Dallas Hybrid Prep, an institution that opened its doors earlier in 2021, already utilizes a hybrid teaching model steeped in virtual and in-person learning. Enrolled Students are required to use a digital interface (such as a laptop, smartphone or desktop) to access the STEMuli metaverse. This then allows them to access a virtual learning environment.
Olga Romero is the founding principal at Dallas Hybrid Prep. “Our fifth-grade students join with their teachers while learning from home to collaborate and complete gaming-style assignments, using avatars and earning online currency for completing the assigned tasks.”
In recent months, sports teams with passionate fan bases have continued to utilize various aspects of the Metaverse to maximize their consumer engagement levels. And, while these interactions have largely been relegated to the use of digital tokens and other such offerings, things seem set to be changing quite rapidly.
The rapid development of augmented reality (AR) tools such as haptic feedback suits is happening. Users will soon be able to participate in a variety of sporting activities from the comfort of their own homes. This is while reaping all the physical and mental benefits of the same.
In fact, it is worth noting that one of the most popular gaming titles on the Oculus VR marketplace is a title called ‘Fight Night.’ It is a boxing game that allows users to maximize their fitness levels simply by training and competing as they would in a real boxing ring.
Now with the integration of physical sensations into the mix, I see this trend gaining a lot more steam in the near-to-mid term. People can participate in their favorite sporting activities by simply putting on a headset along with a feedback clothing garment.
The world continues to move in a direction which is increasingly driven by decentralized technologies. There is no doubt in my mind that the Metaverse will continue to have a growing amount of impact on various traditional sectors, especially fashion. For example, over the last seven months, a growing list of mainstream brands including Adidas, Nike, and Gucci which have entered the Metaverse.
To further elaborate on this point, Dolce & Gabbana recently sold a digital glass suit for a whopping $1 million. Gucci’s Queen Bee Dionysus virtual bag was able to fetch a handsome $4,000, a figure that was actually more than the valuation of its physical counterpart.
Late last year, Louis Vuitton announced the release of an in-house videogame designed to allow players to collect a total of thirty NFTs within its digital universe. Other prominent fashion firms have joined the Metaverse fray including Balenciaga, Ralph Lauren, etc.
Even though the long-term scope and impact of the Metaverse on the fashion industry remains to be determined, I firmly stand by the notion that the technology will be instrumental in redefining this space, and soon.
About the author
Xno Bui is the founder of ORTHO and Chief Metaverse Officer at Whydah. She envisions a society where our physical and visual selves converge. During 15 years of her career, Xno has built various user experiences through brick-and-mortar products as well as intangible ones. Her works span multiple aspects of design, from interior to fashion to UI/UX and branding.
In compliance with the Trust Project guidelines, this opinion article presents the author’s perspective and may not necessarily reflect the views of BeInCrypto. BeInCrypto remains committed to transparent reporting and upholding the highest standards of journalism. Readers are advised to verify information independently and consult with a professional before making decisions based on this content.