How SMEs can capitalise on the Metaverse in its early stages

Innovation happens everywhere, all the time. That’s what makes it so exciting – you don’t quite know what’s coming next.

How SMEs can capitalise on the Metaverse in its early stages

Innovation happens everywhere, all the time. That’s what makes it so exciting – you don’t quite know what’s coming next. Innovative technologies are disruptive usually because no one saw them coming, but with something like the metaverse, the continued buzz around them means people have plenty of time to wonder: should I be paying attention? What does this mean for me?

Meta’s latest keynote saw the unveiling of the Quest Pro VR headset and partnership with Microsoft. Meta’s commitment to facilitating a practical shift in our lives to this virtual reality shows no signs of going away. 

There are valuable takeaways from their journey. For those of us SMEs in the world of emerging tech, we watch and learn from the moves big players like Meta make.

What is the Metaverse?

According to Gartner, “30% of the organizations in the world will have products and services ready for the metaverse by 2026.” But what does this mean? Currently, with no central definition of the metaverse, it can be hard to understand the technology, let alone what it means for your business.

The metaverse is not a single technology but a collection that creates a virtual world. Because it is still in its early stages, the technological components that allow it to be a reality are underdeveloped, expensive, and inaccessible to most.

Encouraging Innovation in the Metaverse Space

This underdevelopment is why we need to encourage innovation in the metaverse space by making it easier and more affordable to all players. Most innovations that have transformed our lives had humble beginnings, whether Apple in Steve Jobs’ garage or Facebook in Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room. The more we make education and resources available to all, the more we empower the hungry and scrappy innovators cooking up our next technological leap.

Cost is not the only barrier to innovation. Even with readily available capital, companies need expertise. This is why innovation partnerships that see companies share best practices and knowledge are another valuable resource driving technological development. Innovation partnerships are especially important in the budding world of the metaverse – they can reduce costs, connect capital to talent and accelerate commercialization.

The role of Intellectual Property in the Metaverse

Beyond education, innovators need resources. Intellectual property (IP) is a powerful tool that allows companies to build on existing technologies to create new solutions. However, accessing intellectual property is costly and time-consuming, which makes it out of reach for most SMEs.

The challenges that accessing resources in the form of IP presents to SMEs is something IPwe has sought to address. At IPwe, we have created a dedicated platform for pooling and sharing IP: IPwe’s Metaverse Smart Pool enables companies of all sizes to innovate using different IP patents that already exist in this new universe. With this comes the freedom to innovate, or the ability to develop your metaverse business with IP peace of mind, without the cost and hurdles of the traditional licensing pathway.  

What the Metaverse means for SMEs

The opportunities are there for the taking. Far from being a crowded space, businesses can still capitalize before the metaverse truly takes off.  

So, what does this all mean for your business? Although the metaverse is still in its early stages, it is a powerful technology that will inevitably transform how we interact with the internet. Commerce, education, training, collaboration, and so much more is and will continue to move to the metaverse.

The metaverse is not a technology owned by a single company. It is an extension of our physical world that should be built by and accessible to all. The development of the metaverse relies on collaborative innovation. The more we open it up to various players within the ecosystem, the more value we reap.

Lavina Meliti
Lavina Meliti

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