A Deloitte report, “The Metaverse in Asia- Strategies for Accelerating Economic Impact”, estimates that the impact of the metaverse on GDP in Asia could be between US$0.8-1.4 trillion per year, roughly 1.3-2.4% of overall GDP per year by 2035.
Whilst there is no universally agreed definition, the metaverse is envisaged as a highly immersive virtual world where people gather to socialize, play and work. The metaverse development is underpinned by several underlying technologies, including hardware devices, computing and communication networks, 3D real-time technology, Artificial Intelligence, and blockchain distributed ledger technologies.
According to the Deloitte report, the metaverse has the potential to transform economies in various ways. These include the expansion of access to information, digital content and digital infrastructure; the creation of new employment opportunities, including jobs that have yet to exist; improvement in ways of working between geographies, businesses, and organisations, including the facilitation of remote working, training and collaboration across different locations, and the creation of new marketplaces and types of businesses particularly to exchange digital goods and services.
As per the report, the potential economic impact of the metaverse on Mainland China is projected to be US$ 456-862 billion per year by 2035. The automobile and healthcare are among the sectors in China that are to be greatly influenced by developments in the metaverse.
The automobile industry is to be impacted in the areas of manufacturing, product customisation, marketing and brand loyalty. The report further states that the BMW Group’s Plant Lydia in Shenyang, China, is set to be one of the world’s first plants designed in the metaverse. In the near future, customers are expected to test-drive their vehicle within the metaverse on the day of any vehicle launch.
The metaverse is also projected to provide significant benefits to the healthcare sector. The efficient management of health data, including security and storage, on the blockchain and the provision of telemedicine consultations at separate locations through Virtual Reality (VR) technology are among the possibilities within the metaverse.
In the healthcare sector, the report cites the Chinese haptic robotics startup, Intelligent Haptronic Solutions, which is developing VR-based digestive endoscopy simulators and training robots to enhance surgical training.
According to the Deloitte report, the successful future of the metaverse calls for collective responsibility by all ecosystem actors, including government, telecom operators and the technology sector, businesses and start-ups, researchers and academics, metaverse users and the general public. The report notes that Asian economies are employing different strategies to accelerate the economic benefits of the metaverse.
The metaverse is expected to disrupt many sectors ranging from entertainment to retail, real estate, education, fashion, gaming, sports, advertising, cybersecurity and financial services.