If people come to use the metaverse in the way they now use mobile technology, the global economy could stand to benefit, according to a study by international economic consulting firm Analysis Group.
The group’s economists predict a $440 billion boost to the European economy within a decade, if people embrace the virtual world as metaverse creators hope. These figures extrapolate to a $3 trillion increase in global GDP in the same ten years. If people adopted the technology en masse, beginning this year, a 2.8% contribution to global GDP would result, the research predicted.
Of course, the analysis is based on a hypothetical condition – that people will use the metaverse as much as they do their phones.
Metaverse proponents say the technology could have far-reaching applications in diverse sectors of society, including education, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and communication. They envision it to comprise an expansive network of digital spaces, enabled by other emerging tech such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality.
For this study, Analysis Group examined existing technologies and their ability to draw users, and then applied that data to the metaverse. Researchers chose mobile technology as an appropriate analog because it shares certain characteristics with the metaverse. Both combine existing innovations that could alter global technological and economic landscapes. For example, mobile phones combine the ability to make calls from anywhere with the internet, email, and text messaging, among many other things. This combination led to a dramatic increase in the speed at which business is done.
Academic literature on the cycles of innovative technology and data relating to the adoption of mobile tech were also used in the study.
The metaverse concept is not universally well-liked. Critics warn that the emerging technology could be harmful, especially for issues such as privacy, data hacking, desensitization, and other health issues.