If metaverse adoption and impact evolves similarly to mobile technology, the report says, it could contribute 2.8% to global gross domestic product (GDP) in the 10th year after adoption begins. If started in 2022, adoption of the metaverse over the next 10 years could lead to a $3-trillion contribution to global GDP in 2031.
Like mobile technology, the metaverse is expected to have far-reaching applications, with the potential to transform a wide range of economic sectors such as education, health care, manufacturing, job training, communications, entertainment, and retail. The analysis adapts research on previous breakthrough technologies – including the steam engine, radio and television, personal computers, wireless Internet technology, and mobile technology, among others – to draw inferences about the potential adoption process and economic impact of the metaverse.
The metaverse, which is still in its formative stages, is envisioned to comprise an expansive network of digital spaces enabled by developing technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). The analysis centers on measuring the potential economic impact of the metaverse if it were to evolve like prior successful technologies in terms of the rate of adoption by users and the impact on GDP.
The researchers selected mobile technology as an appropriate analog because of similarities to the metaverse in the way it combined existing and nascent innovations to fundamentally alter global technological and economic landscapes. The researchers drew from academic literature on the development cycles for innovative technologies and on publicly available data for the deployment and adoption of mobile technology over a number of years to assess direct, indirect, and catalytic or stimulative impacts.
All of these these factors, are important for GDP, including job creation, business growth, and economic development. At the same time, say the analysts, the impacts of the metaverse are likely to be felt differently in different sectors of the economy, in different regions, at different points in time, and for different people.
“…over time, if the metaverse is successful, it will likely displace some existing technologies and industries, as prior technologies have done before. A direction for future research is to quantify these heterogeneous impacts and measure the potential displacement of industries and restructuring of local economies that may accompany the growth of the metaverse.”
For more, see the report: The Potential Global Economic Impact of the Metaverse.