What The Metaverse Means For Mobile App Developers
What the potential app concepts for the metaverse - including immersive games, VR/AR simulations, and 3D office interaction tools - mean for the mobile app developer.
A technology topic garnering a copious amount of buzz, a metaverse essentially provides an interactive online experience within a 3D-modeled universe. Its potential remains enormous, as evidenced by Facebook changing the name of its parent company to Meta. Expect many other Big Tech conglomerates to also create their own metaverses with the hope of attracting hordes of users and revenue.
While some metaverse concepts focus on entertainment use-cases, others are based on business applications. For example, Microsoft envisions an enterprise metaverse where employees and clients interact in a 3D environment. With remote working the new normal in the wake of COVID-19, Microsoft’s plans just might show a measure of promise.
Not surprisingly, given the majority of users accessing the internet from smartphones, mobile apps are expected to soon embrace the metaverse. Expect these to be a major digital venture trend in 2022 for app developers and digital studios with the tech skills and the vision to craft meaningful experiences in this new domain.
The potential app concepts seem nearly limitless, including immersive games, VR/AR simulations, and 3D office interaction tools all possible. Again, designing a compelling experience remains critical for success. Let’s look more closely at what this means for the mobile app developer.
Crafting a Meaningful Metaverse Experience
When building a mobile app using a metaverse, developers must craft something able to provide users with digital experiences to rival those in the real world. This is the case for tech giants like Microsoft and Meta as well as smaller digital agencies without the reach of those massive organizations. Developers need to make users value the interactions in the metaverse at least as much as in real life.
Take the example of Microsoft’s enterprise metaverse concept. Inside it, professionals in any number of industries interact with each other within a virtual 3D space. They collaborate on project work, brainstorm new ideas, and communicate as if residing in the same office.
Needless to say, this concept offers significant benefits to organizations struggling to keep remote workers sufficiently engaged. Regular communication over videoconferencing, phone calls, and text messaging helps somewhat, but without the meaningful experience as being in the same room. Any metaverse-based office platform must close that gap to make users value it as much as the “real thing.”
Of course, a well-designed mobile metaverse office app must provide collaboration functionality making it easier to work together virtually. All modes of communication made by the digital representations of each participant need to be seamless: verbal, gestures, or other visual cues. Again, making the virtual metaverse behave like a true representation of an actual office must be the goal. Developers must strive for a seamless transition between the physical and virtual.
The Public Still Isn’t Interested in VR Headsets
Additionally, building a compelling mobile metaverse app needs to work without relying on VR headsets. A recent study noted nearly three-quarters of respondents had no plans to wear a VR headset over the next year. While those numbers might change once the metaverse truly impacts the cultural zeitgeist, the issue remains worthy of consideration for digital venture studios contemplating their first mobile apps targeting this environment.
The office metaverse, however, need not rely on providing a full virtual reality experience. Notably, the same study highlighted the fact that users prefer augmented reality scenarios able to blend both virtual and physical items and interactions. Taking this approach in an augmented reality officescape serves to foster true interaction between project teams. These AR-based digital assets provide the freedom to truly engage and collaborate as if in a real office.
Other Metaverse Considerations For Mobile App Developers
Expecting a mobile development team to design their own metaverse API seems a rather large task. Instead expect them to decide between competing platforms by Meta, Microsoft, and others. Note that the team at Redmond as well as at Nvidia boast tangible metaverse tech stacks developers can test today as compared to the vaporware of the formerly-named Facebook. Additionally, open source options also exist, including one from Mozilla, which seems like a promising concept for digital studios not wanting vendor lock-in on their chosen metaverse platform.
Ultimately, mobile app development agencies need to keep an open mind when it comes designing apps for the metaverse. With multiple completing commercial tech stacks in addition to open source options, this nascent scene is still being defined. Considering the current public aversion to VR headsets, focusing on augmented reality apps might be a wise choice. Still, if Meta, Microsoft, or both help VR reach a critical mass, those opinions could very well change. Either way, intriguing opportunities abound for businesses with a compelling idea for a metaverse mobile app.
If your organization needs help transforming a great business idea into an exceptional mobile app, connect with the team at NineTwoThree. As one of the top digital venture studios in the business, we boast the technical know-how and business acumen to make your project a success. Schedule a meeting with us to discuss partnering on your next idea.