The metaverse may be in a nascent phase, but businesses should pay heed to developments in the 3D world for success in the future.

Smart devices today pack some serious AI and graphics processing power, and more software developers are taking advantage of this power to allow businesses to create 3D digital twins of home interiors, properties and objects.

Welcome to the metaverse! The 3D replica of the real world we live in may still be far off, but as virtual space becomes more democratized, it pays to be ready for the metaverse where we may live, work, play and transact in.

For insights into the metaverse – and recent developments, tools, and applications – DigiconAsia posed some questions to Ben Corser, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Matterport:

Ben Corser, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Matterport

What is the metaverse, and what does the future hold for businesses in the metaverse?

Corser: In its simplest form, we define the metaverse as a virtual environment that connects real-world people to the abundance of virtual spaces.  

The metaverse signifies an increasing shift toward digitization of the physical world and at Matterport, we are committed to democratizing access to space through our technology to help businesses deliver better customer experiences, grow revenue, and gain a competitive edge.

By empowering companies to generate incredibly precise 3D twins to create simulated environments, they can capture and move assets, products and spaces anywhere they wish. This creates limitless possibilities for enterprises to break down physical and virtual boundaries to produce digital assets and real-time data that simplifies and expedites processes in industries such as residential and commercial real estate, architecture and construction, and retail – to name a few.

How is digital twin technology set to revolutionize the way we interact, and how does this tie into the wider metaverse?

Corser: Digital twin technology creates 3D replicas of physical entities that can be used to build high-accuracy simulated environments reflecting the entity’s real-time data, and is already changing the way we interact.

At present, digital twin technology means residential and commercial real estate players such as business owners no longer have to spend long hours creating floor plans of their properties to manage in-store experiences and space planning to deliver the best customer services. Consumers can also access digital assets of physical spaces remotely with timely offerings that help optimize decision-making, all without the need to be there in person.

This provides a uniquely immersive and tailored experience like no other in the metaverse, where stakeholders can interact with each other to foster deeper connections conveniently and address their needs.

An example is OrangeTree: property agents initially had to spend travelling to show properties in-person which may not have met all their buyers’ needs. After utilizing Matterport’s digital twin technology, agents are now able to close home sales sight-unseen, while homeowners can also view their property as a “dollhouse”, something not possible in a real-world viewing.

Regarding the metaverse, we are incredibly excited about the opportunity to leverage our technology and our spatial library to build simulated worlds – though Matterport has more than 5 million spaces in our library, and we know we are only scratching the surface of the world’s 20 billion spaces and 4 billion buildings.

What is the current state of digital twin adoption in the Asia-Pacific region?

Corser: Digital twin technology is steadily gaining ground in Asia-Pacific, with the market size projected to be US$11 billion by 2026.

There is vast potential for the adoption of digital twin as more players across the region embrace emerging technology to transform their businesses and identify new revenue streams.

Businesses are now keen to take a closer look at how digital twins can help them navigate the complex world of digital disruptions and manage their businesses better with the rise of the metaverse.

What challenges would organizations face in a metaverse of digital twins, and how could these challenges be addressed?

Corser: A key challenge most organizations might face in a metaverse of digital twins would be adapting existing tech infrastructures to accommodate cutting-edge technologies and equipping their workforce with the necessary tools to put the capturing of digital twins into practice.

With a sensory experience that differs from the physical world, organizations need to help customers adapt to interactions in the metaverse as well through education on the benefits of digital twins

This is why Matterport relentlessly innovates to democratize spaces and make it easier for businesses to access these cutting-edge technologies cost-effectively.  Matterport enables metaverse creators to use digital twins of real spaces to help make the metaverse more realistic.

For example, Winning Appliances, Australia’s leading kitchen and laundry specialist, leveraged our Matterport Pro 2 camera to capture three of its flagship showrooms. Within just four weeks from scanning to launch, Winning Appliances’ virtual showrooms received close to 20,000 visits within two months. Customers were also able to view and purchase the tagged products in the showroom, all from the comfort of their own homes.