When Meta (formerly Facebook) CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced the world to his conceptualisation of a digital world he termed "the Metaverse", global media was buzzing. And while it might seem like a distant futuristic concept, a version of Zuckerberg's metaverse already exists. It might not have gained full mainstream adoption just yet, but its popularity is rising, and user numbers are growing all the time. Citi reports that the metaverse economy may even be worth $13 trillion by 2030.
As the metaverse continues to rapidly develop, it's becoming increasingly popular with businesses and professionals across a wide range of industries. The legal industry is no exception, with many firms beginning to explore how they can use the metaverse to engage with clients in a different way.
What Exactly Is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is a digital world that exists parallel to our own physical world. It's a place where people can meet, interact, and do business in a completely virtual environment.
But how does this differ from the Internet? One of the key features of the metaverse is that it is an avatar-based 3D environment. To navigate this virtual landscape, users can adopt a 3D persona, or avatar, to represent themselves.
But to make the metaverse of Zuckerberg's imagination a reality, these virtual worlds will need to become interconnected. In much the same way that you can bounce from website to website by following links online, 3D virtual realms like Decentraland, Second Life, the Sandbox and Roblox will need to be linked up so users can move freely between them.
How Can Law Firms Enter The Metaverse?
So how can law firms make use of the metaverse? Well, there are several ways and we look at some of them below.
Use The Metaverse For Client Meetings
One of the most obvious ways law firms can make use of the Metaverse is for client meetings. This has a few advantages over traditional face-to-face meetings or even video conferencing. For starters if your client isn’t in close proximity, you can save on expensive travel costs.
Meta itself has designed a new software for this very purpose called Horizon Workrooms, which allows businesses to create their own private spaces in the metaverse for meetings and collaboration. There are also other independent virtual reality apps that facilitate workplace meetings such as Spatial and MeetinVR.
Use The Metaverse For Marketing & Business Development
The metaverse can be a valuable tool for marketing and business development. You can use it to create an immersive environment that showcases your firm's brand identity and values.
Many businesses are already using the metaverse for this very purpose. High-end apparel company, Gucci, is a perfect example. The brand joined forces with Roblox to create a virtual two-week art installation designed to build brand awareness.
Use The Metaverse For Training & Education
Another way law firms can make use of the metaverse is for training and education. The metaverse provides a unique opportunity to create realistic simulations that can be used to teach lawyers new skills or help them brush up on existing ones.
You could potentially simulate a court case, a business negotiation, or even a complex legal transaction. Furthermore, you could leverage the metaverse to create educational games or quizzes that test lawyers' knowledge of their area of practice.
Are KSA Businesses Adopting The Metaverse?
There's no doubt that the metaverse is going to have a big impact on businesses in KSA. But how quickly are firms in the Kingdom adopting this new technology? At present, it's difficult to say but the fact that the metaverse is still in its early stages of development means adoption is still fairly low.
However, there are a few signs to suggest the metaverse will gain traction in KSA. At the futuristic LEAP technology forum, the Saudi government announced a plan to invest billions in advanced technologies such as the metaverse and the blockchain. They now plan to create a "virtual twin" of the planned smart city of NEOM. On a smaller scale, the capital city Riyadh is also now home to the nation's first virtual reality gaming arena.
These are good signs for metaverse growth in KSA. As the technology continues to develop, more businesses will incorporate it into their operations.