For work, too, this technology is constantly being invested in and developed. Korean PropTech company Zigbang has already opened an office called Metapolis - a 30-floor VR experience where employees have to navigate to their desks with their chosen avatar via corridors and lifts. Webcams and mics activate whenever employees meet a fellow employee so that, much like in real life, they're able to have a spontaneous conversation if they wish. When the avatar walks away, webcams and mics automatically switch off.
In the city of Seoul, South Korea, plans are already in place to create a metaverse of the entire city, with the government investing around $3 billion. The hope is to use the metaverse cityscape to increase tourism, and allow citizens to interact and socialise in all new ways.
The final and possibly most notably, the evolution of cryptocurrencies is helping to mould the expectations and possibilities of the metaverse, and in many ways dominating the stories about it.
Cryptocurrencies at their core are still largely seen as a specialist pastime. People can't buy food at their local supermarket with cryptocurrency, for instance, or pay their mortgage from their cryptocurrency account. In the metaverse, however, it is currently the only currency that can be used. In a recently published piece by Deloitte, the authors posit that the metaverse of the future could have its own native economy, "including digitally native assets and trade".
Virtual real estate, for instance, has had a market in the metaverse for years now. Metaverse platforms such as Decentraland and the Sandbox create and then lease spaces - usually to companies and brands who are interested in experimenting with metaverse technology. Brands such as McDonald's and Formula One, for instance, have all leased space, some spending the equivalent of $1 million in the form of cryptocurrency. At the higher end, building and leasing a metaverse experience to a company can generate monthly rents upwards of $60,000, producing profits upwards of 70%.