The metaverse has set the commercial landscape ablaze. Expectations are through the roof, and not even the sky seems to be the limit. August institutions such as CB Insights and JP Morgan see the metaverse becoming a $1tn annual market, while Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley expect this market to reach $8tn annually.

Using a very wide definition of metaverse-related opportunities, CITI puts this number even higher – at between $8tn and $13tn. And many of these market observers emphasise that they expect the market to reach these numbers by the end of the decade, in 2030 – just over seven years from now.

Opportunities certainly abound, even though the size of the market is up for debate. But concerns are manifold, too. Identifying potential problems quickly could help providers and users avoid many of the mistakes that were made with internet applications early on and – currently very much in public discussion – with social media applications.

At South by Southwest (SXSW) in March 2022, a discussion on topics related to the metaverse, From Buzz to Reality: Metaverse Now and Tomorrow, brought to light concerns and problem areas of the emerging computing environment.

The perspectives of interface manufacturers, industrial users, metaverse designers and infrastructure providers were provided by: Geoff Bund, head of software partnerships for headset manufacturer Varjo; Vesa Koivumaa, head of growth for industrial equipment provider Wärtsilä;, Miikka Rosendahl, founder and CEO of virtual-world creator ZOAN; and Leslie Shannon, head of ecosystem and trend scouting at Nokia.


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