How Many Americans Will Spend An Hour a Day in the Metaverse by 2026?
Gartner is predicting that one quarter will spend at least that much time in the Metaverse, which will open up new business models and digital businesses
STAMFORD, Conn.—A new analysis of the metaverse from Gartner is predicting that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social and/or entertainment.
“Vendors are already building ways for users to replicate their lives in digital worlds,” said Marty Resnick, research vice president at Gartner. “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.”
Gartner defines a metaverse as a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality. It provides persistent enhanced immersive experiences and is device independent, being accessible through any type of device, from tablets to head-mounted displays, the company said.
Because no single vendor will own the metaverse, Gartner expects it to have a virtual economy enabled by digital currencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The metaverse will impact every business that consumers interact with every day.
It will also impact how work gets done, Gartner believes. Enterprises will provide better engagement, collaboration and connection to their employees through immersive workspaces in virtual offices. Businesses will not need to create their own infrastructure to do so because the metaverse will provide the framework. In addition, virtual events that have gained popularity over the last 18 months will offer more collaborative and immersive networking opportunities and workshops.
“Enterprises will have the ability to expand and enhance their business models in unprecedented ways by moving from a digital business to a metaverse business,” said Resnick. “By 2026, 30% of the organizations in the world will have products and services ready for metaverse.”
However the adoption of metaverse technologies is nascent and fragmented, Garner warned, cautioning organizations about investing heavily in a specific metaverse. “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,” said Resnick.
More information will be discussed in the complimentary Feb. 28 Gartner webinar “Immediate and Future Metaverse Opportunities for Product Leaders” (opens in new tab) and in the Gartner Emerging Technologies Roadmap.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.