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It’s Not Just Tech: A Wide Range of Businesses Are Interested in the Metaverse



The Tech Sector’s Metaverse Focus Is Obvious, But Others Want In

The metaverse is largely associated with the tech sector for obvious reasons. Accordingly, proponents envision a full-scale digital realm that combines the use of equipment and software. To date, tech giants like Microsoft (MSFT), Meta (FB), Alphabet (GOOGL), and Apple (AAPL) have made the most significant investments into the metaverse market.

Pushing past obvious tech connections, the potential of the metaverse excites businesses of all stripes. A number of companies have indicated plans to launch proofs of concept prior to 2023, exploring how they can utilize augmented and virtual reality. Executives with commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen (ABC) have both announced possible metaverse investments.

Non-Tech Businesses See Ways to Win in the Digital Realm

Jones Lang LaSalle’s CIO says the company is interested in buying high-traffic virtual locations to test out advertising opportunities, among other uses. Analysts say the metaverse could also make work-from-home tasks easier while facilitating hybrid work setups. For example, employees could attend a virtual meeting but then interact in a “hallway” setting with coworker avatars.

Financial services companies like Visa (V) are reportedly exploring ways the metaverse can improve their workplace environments. These endeavors include training, simulations, and communications. Likewise, Visa plans to test prototype technology this year that involves digital employee representations similar to holograms or avatars.

Analysts Highlight Potential in Research, Pharma, and Customer Interaction

Eventually, the metaverse could become a place where people work, shop, and play, but a number of ultra-practical applications exist as well. For example, pharmaceutical executives note that scientists who would otherwise handle test tubes or beakers could use a digital simulation to keep their hands free, boosting efficiency. The pharma sector also illustrates ways the metaverse can help companies engage with customers.

At last week’s CES tech conference in Las Vegas, Procter & Gamble (PG) hosted its second annual virtual experience called LifeLab. This program gave participants the ability to create avatars and then explore new product offerings within the digital space. Within the pharma vertical, Merck (MRK) reports using existing technology to connect experts from around the globe, adding the metaverse will expand those capabilities.

While clearly representing a major expansion within the tech sector, the metaverse is now attracting the likes of varied industries that are exploring its potential within their own unique business models.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.


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