Technology consulting firm Gartner is forecasting the metaverse to become a major part of people’s lives by 2026 — much like the internet now. It predicts that a quarter of the global population will be spending at least an hour in the metaverse each day by then.
Consulting firm Gartner, in a press release published on Feb 7, said that it’s likely at least 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse by the year 2026 for work, shopping, education, social interactions, and entertainment.
The metaverse will provide an “enhanced immersive experience” through devices like VR headsets and even tablets. But most interestingly, with respect to the cryptocurrency market, Gartner expects digital currencies and NFTs to be a major part of this ecosystem as “no single vendor will own the metaverse.” It expects virtual economies to be powered by those assets.
Talking about how this could impact lives, research vice president of Gartner Marty Resnick said,
“Vendors are already building ways for users to replicate their lives in digital worlds. From attending virtual classrooms to buying digital land and constructing virtual homes, these activities are currently being conducted in separate environments. Eventually, they will take place in a single environment – the metaverse – with multiple destinations across technologies and experiences.”
It also expects workplaces to make the shift towards virtual work environments. This will reduce the need for office infrastructure, and Gartner goes so far as to say that 30% of organizations worldwide will have products and services ready for the metaverse.
These are bold predictions. But it seems more and more likely that the metaverse will shape the way we interact.
Metaverse hype not slowing down, despite criticism
The metaverse has received some criticism from industry insiders and the gaming community, who call it nothing but a fad and a buzzword. Still, major firms are pouring billions into the idea, clearly convinced that it will be the new medium through which interactions will take place.
Meta has allocated so much of its resources into building its own metaverse, despite losing billions in the process. Microsoft is also seen as another major contender, snapping up intellectual properties to bolster its bid. Meanwhile, crypto projects like Decentraland and The Sandbox are also growing more popular.
As more capital continues to be poured in, it looks like it could be the start of a new era for the internet.