How is the Metaverse changing product design?

Living in a digital era, it has become impossible to perceive brand products in a single way. At first, we used to purchase appealing-packaged items from physical stores. Sometime later, eCommerce became a thing where people buy their needs online, without having to make any effort. Most recently, new technologies such as augmented reality have been integrated into the market to digitize products in 3D, allowing customers to interact and engage with them. However, with much focus put on the Metaverse, tech experts have a strong belief that this new virtual space is going to be a game-changer for product design.

What is the Metaverse?

The Metaverse is a persistent, online, three-dimensional universe that combines various virtual spaces. It would connect multiple platforms, similar to how the internet connects various websites that can be accessed through a single browser. This new realm can be considered a future iteration of the internet. Users will be able to collaborate, meet, game, and socialize in these 3D spaces thanks to it. Augmented reality will be the primary technology that powers it, with each user controlling a character or avatar.

The Metaverse and product design

The process of creating digital or physical goods is known as product design. It is generally based on research and takes into account the user’s experience. But how is the Metaverse changing product design, you might ask? It is doing so by allowing designers to have the full autonomy to create products that never existed previously. It now becomes less about how to get products from the physical realm into the Metaverse and more about innovating new ones with elevated value in the digital space. For instance, certain fashion brands like Nike and Balenciaga have developed products that consumers would not necessarily wear in real life if they were available, but which assist them in establishing their virtual identities, molding them, or even defining the way they move and interact on this platform. The level of innovation is virtually limitless, giving designers unprecedented opportunities to push the boundaries of design.

The Metaverse could also aid in making products more sustainable by eliminating the need for additional production processes or new materials, which would eventually result in more waste. Simultaneously, products centralized in the Metaverse have the potential to reduce their inherent value, or at least the value we place on actual physical objects that do something in the physical space; thus, providing us with new perceptions of the outside world. As individuals, we still value things we can touch and feel, things that tickle our senses beyond sight and sound, or that digital realities can’t fully replicate yet.
That said, the Metaverse promises and threatens to change the world as we know it, from product design to money. Everyone, from consumers to creators, finds it both exciting and terrifying. The winds of change appear to have begun to blow, but it might take a lot more time to witness a major impact on the world.