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What is a Metaverse?

By Betsy Burton

Even though the most talked about metaverses are limited in availability (NVIDIA Omniverse) or unavailable (e.g., Meta Metaverse and Microsoft Mesh Teams), they represent an emerging technology and business model that is important to understand.  

Digital Immersive Environment

A digital immersive environment is a software application/service that supports a collection of virtual shared spaces that are specifically designed to deliver an immersive world where users primarily interact with through an avatar. 

A digital immersive environment is not new, they have existed for years in the form of Second Life, as well as a number of major gaming services, including Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto, and Roblox.

What Makes a Digital Immersive Environment Different?

Have you ever thought about how your Metaverse avatar would look? With the way this market is growing, you might need to.

What makes a digital immersive environment distinct and differentiated from other similar software applications and services is that it is specifically designed to deliver an immersive world that users primarily interact with through an avatar. 

A digital immersive environment where avatars interact could be a digital twin of a physical world place (e.g., a manufacturing floor, a museum, a park, etc.) or it could be a fantastical fictitious place. 

Five Metaverse Types Within the Digital Immersive Environment 

A metaverse is a type of digital immersive environment. 

Aragon Research has identified five different types of digital immersive environments based on their degree of openness versus control of the membership, governance and look-and-feel.

Interestingly, we are finding that the types of metaverse mirror, in many cases, the types of cloud environments that have emerged, including a public, private, enterprise, community and hybrid metaverse.

Bottom Line

The reality is that metaverses are in their early days and may not apply to your specific business today. However, they are being discussed and hyped in the market, which means business and technology leaders must not ignore them or their strengths and issues. 

Watch this space for new research from Aragon Research on metaverses and actionable advice about if, when, and how to use them.

To learn more about Metaverse register for our upcoming event, [Transform Tour 2022] Metaverse: Entertainment vs Enterprise.

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