Technology and Virtual Worlds

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  • 1. Technology sector companies in Virtual WorldsT he Technology sector has been extremely quick to adopt virtual world strategies. Should this be a surprise? No. After all, metaverses such as Second Life rely exclusively on technology to make them work and the population residing inside these worlds are early adopters. However, as this KZero case study explains, the benets and opportunities available to companies in the tech sector are much more related to creating communities and personnel experiences than to the latest technological developments. Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009 Page 1

2. What is a virtual world? However, as the chart below left shows, other regionsand in particular Europe, have embraced Second Life. The World Wide Web as we know it today consists ofIn late 2006, Second Life resident numbers broke static 2D pages. You visit a website and read/watchthrough the 1m mark, helped by signicant media the information or media presented on it. Virtualcoverage. During 2007, resident numbers grew by 1m worlds (metaverses) are dierent.per month and now (Jul 2009) the total number of They are digital 3D environments accessed in real- registered accounts is over 19m. time that allow people to explore, examine and interact with the objects created within the world and However, even greater growth has been observed in importantly they allow people to interact together in avirtual worlds catered towards younger audiences. shared collaborative space regardless of their Stardoll for example, has over 34m accounts, Barbie geographical location. Girls over 10m and IMVU over 39m. Appendix oneshows the KZero universe graph, an illustration of the Second Life was the rst glimpse into the future of thesize and range of virtual worlds available. Internet, a future of Places, not Pages. However, other virtual worlds such as There, Kaneva, Stardoll and Using Second Life as an example, as explained in the many others are now available for marketers in thisfollowing sections, the unique characteristics of a emerging space.typical resident has expedited the take-up, and therange of dierent countries represented. Why are virtual worlds growing?Who is a typical resident? The most popular commercial metaverse to date, Second Life, is a global application, meaning that Second Life is not a gaming application. There are no anyone can become a resident. Initially, North America scores, no lives to protect, no objectives and no end- drove take-up due largely to the fact that the result. company behind Second Life, Linden Lab is based in San Francisco. Comparison has been drawn to World of Warcraft, anextremely popular MMOG (massive multiplayer onlinegame) but the only real similarity is the fact that they Rest of World 23%are both virtual worlds. US Importantly, whereas the average age of a Warcraft37%player is 17, for Second Life, the average age is 32. It isthis fact which stimulated the interest in major brandsto consider entering Second Life. Below (next page) isEuropethe age range spread for residents. 37% Canada 3%Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009 Page 2 3. The graph below shows the regional breakdown offashion-themed world Stardoll.Rest of World 16% US37%Also of note and further interest to brand owners isEurope the fact that females account for 45% of users. A 43% surprising, yet valuable piece of information. So, a Canada combination of the average age and gender ratio has4% made brands realise that there are benets to be reaped by developing metaverse marketing strategies. KZero has in-depth data and research available for awide selection of virtual worlds and is best-placed Further analysis of the demographic prole ofto make media planning and virtual world selection residents reveals that these people reside heavily decisions for marketers across the world. within the Innovator and Early Adopter groups.Why are early adopters important? Pre-December 2006, Innovators were the main types inside Second Life, but, as explained by the RogersEarly Adopters are tech-savvy, brand sensitive people. Technology Adoption Curve, Innovators act as a They are educated to a level higher than average and catalyst for Early Adopters. Whereas Innovators areimportantly act as opinion-formers. very keen to trial new technologies, they have localTheir social networks are cosmopolitan, meaning they social networks.have the ability to recommend brands, products and The media landscapeservices with inuence to their friends, family andcolleagues, across the world - another reason for therange of countries represented within Second Life. Second Life aside, marketers now have a wide rangeThese types of consumers also have above average of options available to them. And, importantly,household incomes. traditional media planning techniques can now be used to select the most appropriate virtual world forWhich companies are in already? the marketing objectives.A range of companies across many dierent sectors Dierent worlds have widely dierent resident basesare already in existence in Second Life. These range from a geographical perspective as well as dierentfrom movie companies streaming their lms into age ranges - as demonstrated by appendix one.virtual cinemas, through to media companies such as Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009Page 3 4. MTV and NBC integrating shows through to apparel In part, this has been a me-too strategy, with brands such as Adidas and Reebok creating virtualcompanies entering in order to keep up with some of stores and automobile manufacturers building virtual the early entrants, but a more strategic reason is based racetracks for their cars..on using metaverses as a platform for experimenting Below are the logos of some of these companies (no and exploring how this platform can be leveraged to trademark infringement intended).the advantage of the core services oered by eachcompany.Experimenting and exploringAs discussed, in many instances tech sectorcompanies have to have metaverse presences simplyto support their positioning as leading-edgeorganisations.Several of the larger tech sector companies haveadopted a natural, organically explained rationale forentering Second Life. Cisco explains their rationale asfollows (taken from the News @ Cisco blog):For Cisco, it is about the Human Network. Part of thatis becoming part of communities in Real Life, and now,in Second Life. We opened the Cisco campus to betterexplain and show who we are, what we are about, andhow we are powering the Human Network. And, thatmeans more than just showcasing products (or, givingaway T-shirts and virtual Cisco phones in Second Life).It means working with the community, becoming part Is it a no-brainer?of the community. An interesting question. Faster broadband speeds, quicker, more advanced computing power, the increased reliance of IT to business performance and the rise of user-generated content have all contributed to the prots of companies in the technology sector as well as explaining the recent rise in popularity of virtual worlds.So, in many cases its unsurprising to see companies in the tech sector entering Second Life. Im fact, of all the business categories, the tech sector has seen the most businesses enter. Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009 Page 4 5. So, what Cisco is saying here is that in essence, aprinciples which have guided Sun since our founding. I virtual world presence creates a marketing platform to see virtual worlds like this one as the next evolution of demonstrate their services.'The Network is The Computer.' Second Life is acommunity built entirely on participation, and while Other tech companies explain their rationale in a slightly dierent way. Shown below is a statementthis is still an experiment for us, we're jumping into from Siemens, relating to their UGS PLM divisional Second Life with both feet because we see the online Second Life presence (taken from the Siemens world's unlimited potential for collaboration on Innovation Connection).everything from social issues to Java technologydevelopment Collaboration is the core of PLM and the heart of how UGS PLM Software does business. To enableThis positioning is further supported by the message collaboration through Global Innovation Networks, UGScommunicated when you visit the Sun venue in PLM Software develops and leverages 3D modeling, Second Life: visualization, and collaboration technologies. Virtual A singular vision - "The Network Is The Computer" - environments like Second Life are a natural and exciting guides Sun in the development of technologies that extension of these technologies. Through Siemens power the world's most important markets. Sun's Innovation Connection, our customers and our partnersphilosophy of sharing innovation and building are experimenting with these new collaboration and communities is at the forefront of the next wave of visualization technologies. We are working together to computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in explore how these technologies can be utilized tomore than 100 countries and on the Web. improve business processes and innovation. Siemens Innovation Connection also provides an exciting way to So, is simply being in a virtual world enough? By share some of our customers innovative products. making a public statement full of good intentions,does this imply theres a clear strategy in place? No, itdoesnt. Companies should not view an entrance intothe metaverse space as purely a PR exercise becausethe residents in Second Life (in particular) are far toclever to be fooled by these types of motives.Instead, as explained in the following sections, virtualworlds can be used in a variety of ways, many inconjunction with real-world activities.Product launches and events Collaboration, Community and Experimenting seem to be key words used to describe the strategies of Companies across all sectors annually spend millions companies in this sector. Heres a similar statement of dollars on product launches. These events are from Sun Microsystems Chief Researcher, John Gage: designed to create as much awareness (buzz) aspossible about new products and services. Second Life is creating new possibilities for communication, sharing and community-building all Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009Page 5 6. One of the main drawbacks of real-world events isThe mainland consists of three large virtual land geography - its not always possible to attend eventsmasses where the vast majority of Second Life land due to other commitments or time restraints. owners reside. However, the advent of virtual worlds allows people from across the world to meet in a shared real-timeThe benet of this type of approach is audience reach. environment, meaning that the concept of virtual The typical approach of having a dedicated corporate product launches and events is denitely worth island (o the mainland) typically means more space exploring. to develop virtual spaces but the downside is the extraeort required to encourage visitors to teleport to the In October 2006, Sun Microsystems became the rstvenue. Having a mainland presence means a potential Fortune 500 company to hold an in-world pressfor higher trac and therefore greater awareness of conference. The event itself was to open the virtual activities. Sun Pavillion in Second Life and was hosted by John Gage (mentioned previously). Specically for the Vista launch event, a real-worldconcert was streamed onto virtual screens, Other companies are now choosing to use Second Lifeaccompanied by billboards and other exhibition type to launch specic products. An example of this issupport collateral. Microsoft.Other companies using Second Life for productlaunches include UGS, AMD, Sun and Xerox.UGS (like most tech sector companies in Second Life)has a virtual auditorium to cater for product launchevents. These venues not only allow guests fromaround the world to virtually attend, but also allowthe presentation in-world of real-world products They decided to run a series of launch parties inrecreated virtually, as shown below right in the Sun Second Life to promote the European release of Vista.Microsystems conference centre. Rather than build a single dedicated venue for thisBut, not everything needs to be recreated from scratch launch, instead, Microsoft opted for ten dierentin-world. As shown above (right) with the AMD Live venues across what is known as the mainland in image, it is easily possible to import existing artwork Second Life. and marketing imagery into Second Life to createvirtual displays.Taking this idea one stage further, a concept known asSimulcasting describes the simultaneousbroadcasting of an event across more than onemedium. Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009Page 6 7. Xerox used simulcasting to broadcast a real life eventService channel at Fenway Park, Boston live into their venue in Second Life. Using this approach can widely open up the Should we be surprised to start seeing virtual worlds potential audience for real world events, providing aused as a customer service channel? Absolutely not. video screen in Second Life viewable by avatars. After all, channels such as websites, email and instantmessaging already augment more traditional Furthermore, functionality permits avatars to actually methods such as telephone support. participate in real world debates and presentations. In May 2006, Nic Mitham (K Zero) delivered aOne such company testing Second Life for customer presentation to an audience of marketers in Turin, Italy.service is Dell. In July 2007, they announced a trial in- The event, Mondi Virtuali, held at the Virtual Reality world oering tech support assistance for 10 hours and Multi-Media park had a Q&A session following per week. The trial was designed to gauge demand as the presentation included questions asked by avatars well as query handling. This process actually involves from the virtual conference hall, answered using audio making nominated Dell personnel avatars available in and video streams taking live from the event.designated Dell areas. PA Consulting also oers customer service of a slightlydierent type. Visitors to the PA Consulting island inSecond Life are met by virtual greeters. These peopleare present to meet visitors, answer questions andtake them on tours around their facility. What isdierent about PAs approach is the fact that they haveoutsourced this service.Expect virtual events and launches to be a commonRather than assigning real-world employees to this occurrence in the very near future.project, they pay (in Linden Dollars) third partyindividuals who are on standby during the day. This Already present at many Second Life venues are event provides an extremely low-cost alternative for boards and other devices used to publicise upcomingcompanies wanting in-world presence. The KZero case presentations and talks. Shown above right is such a study The 7 Point Plan for Marketing in Second Life board on Cisco island. Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009Page 7 8. explains the benets of having personnel available in- By this, Claus was referring to the fact that avatars are world. able to interact with company information of a visualinteractive nature. It would even be possible to direct The leader/evangelist for virtual worlds at PA customers to streamed in-world video showing Consulting, Claus Nehmzow told K Zero an interesting solutions to their queries or teleport them to areas story relating to their service outsourcing... dedicated to their product or service. Recently, voice communication was made available inIBM is another company embracing virtual customer Second Life (3D voice), allowing avatars to speak inservice (and virtual worlds in general). IBM has a very real-time to each other. When asked about thelarge footprint in Second Life with many islands potential for voice in the context of virtual customerserving a range of purposes. service, one of the rostered third party agents pointed out the fact that they were actually deaf. The IBM Business Centre is their dedicated venue forproviding support to customers and prospects. Itincludes a Support Library containing a wide range ofmanuals and references including the Red Book range. Up to this point, this fact was not known and in fact, why should have been when communicated to date had been conducted via text? In Second Life there are no disabilities or ailments. As a further demonstration of IBMs commitment tovirtual worlds, the Business Centre as manned 24 Some schools of thought think that virtual service hours a day from Monday to Friday with nominated channels could actually pose a threat to conventionalpersonnel. call centres. A article titled Could Second Life kill o the call centre? presents the argument that meeting company representative in a virtual environment is actually a more engaging experience than waiting on the telephone.Claus Nehmzow was asked to comment on this article and responded as follow: The waiting period can be so much more entertaining than with an IVR system Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009Page 8 9. Partner/developer channelAutodesk Island is part of a wider initiative, AutodeskUniversity an online resource for users of their Another channel being examined on an augmented software. basis in virtual worlds is the Partner/Developer audience.The island itself includes regular events, downloadsand opportunities to participate in beta trials of Several companies are already using Second Life to upcoming software and focusses hard on the provide outreach to third parties. One such is Microsoft collaborative aspects of virtual worlds. with their Visual Studio Island. The island was created to support programmers using the Visual Studio software range and features a sandbox area (a dedicated piece of virtual land where anyone can create objects) as well as a launch competition.Intel has also entered into this category and is using Second Life to communicate with developers of multicore, manageability, and mobility technologies with the presence of Intel engineers and experts (with Another part of the island contains a showcase/demo Meet the Experts events).area of what is possible using Autodesk products, withreal-world products recreated virtually. In a similar fashion to Microsoft, Intel is also using the competition mechanic to increase awareness and interest in this initiative. Specically, they ran a Braniac Warbots contest, where developers will be able to use the Second Life standard Linden Scripting Language (LSL) to build robots that compete.Scott Apeland, Director of the Intel Developer Network commented:Sales channel "We see that Second Life is becoming a popular area for our audience, it provides a new, rich environment forLet us not forget that in many ways, Second Life and training and exchanging information as well as other virtual worlds oer a marketing channel to entertainment. As the developer base grows in Second potential customers. So, just as some companies are Life, we want to be there and grow with them and experimenting with customer service and third- provide the information they need to get the most outparties, others are exploring its role as a sales and of Intel platforms." marketing platform.Visual software company Autodesk is using Second Life almost exclusively as a developer platform.Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009Page 9 10. Other companies also make use of their Second Lifepresences to promote their product ranges. Thistypically involves 6-sheet type displays carryingproduct imagery, hyper-linked out to relevant websitepages. Below are some examples of this approach. Dell is a great example of taking this approach. Their Dell Island features a factory room where avatars can congure and order the Dell XPS hardware range (both real and virtual).Ro Parra, Senior VP and GM for Dell's Home and Small Business Group was quoted as saying:It will tell us what we're doing right and will tell us what we're going to improve. So we asked ourselves how to extend this relationship with the customer to create a dierent experience. We want to be where people are gathered and they're gathering on the Web in growing numbers. For the rst in-world resident to order their PC from us,Tax software company H&R Block also uses Second they'll get it for free. We asked ourselves if Second Life Life as a sales channel. Encouraging integration, they customers want to build a virtual PC and want to get itsell (for L$100) a virtual product bundle including a delivered in real life. We think some of them will." license key providing access to one of their products,Tango. Dell Island also includes a super-sized version of the Dell XPS 710PC. Avatars are able to y inside theThe Technology sector is not the only category computer and interact with various elements within it. exploring ways of integrating virtual worlds into their Consider this in a way product placement.Sales and Marketing operations. However, due to theincumbent technical prole of the early adopterpopulation in Second Life, this sector more thanothers (at this stage) is the most appropriate toexamine this mechanic. Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009 Page 10 11. In addition to providing product information on aCommenting on this initiative, Louis Vong, VP of static basis in Second Life, some companies choose toInteractive Strategy said: deliver in-world presentations, or SLeminars."TMP believes the recruiting process should reect Typically these involve bringing in product experts to what's going on in business -- which is going digital." deliver presentations in virtual auditoriums as well as facilitate Q&A sessions with attendees.The rst event for the North American marketplaceincluded companies such as Verizon, Ebay and HP. Recruitment Tech sector companies were very quick to realise that not only does the audience inside Second Life contain potential customers but also potential employees.Not only are tech sector companies themselves using Second Life for virtual interviews and recruitment events but also real-world recruitment companies are starting to use this space as an extension of their other recruitment-led activities.Then followed a European based event with The best example of this emerging technique is TMP representatives from Alstrom, Areva, Capgemini and Worldwide, a global recruitment advertising company. Unilog present to meet potential candidates. TMP has already even several regionally based recruitment events in Second Life. They have branded Following the lead set by TMP, Australian and New this initiative Network in World.Zealand based IT recruitment company SapphireTechnologies has also entered this space. The companyis now oering access to podcasts on IT employmenttopics as well as arranging meetings with virtualrecruitment consultants. Clearly this is a very new eld with a learning curve for both interviewers and interviewees. Recognising this, TMP provides participants with training on how to interact during a virtual interview as a supporting website to manage the respond and interview booking process.Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009Page 11 12. Commenting on the launch, Malcolm Dunford, Chief available on-demand technical content and training Operating Ocer of Sapphire Technologies said: for software developers. Shown below is an Inteldiscussion on Advanced Ajax programming. This is an exciting step for us as a business as we continue to innovate in the way that we connect with ITIntraverses professionals, and give our candidates greater choice in Virtual worlds can also be used for internal uses. This how they choose to engage with us,. types of venues are very useful for providing Our goal is to create a new Second Life community metaverse environments for employees to learn and of IT professionals in Australia and New Zealand, whointeract. visit the virtual HQ to experience Sapphire Life. So asXerox took this approach with Second Life building a well as oering practical advice such as podcasts on private venue called Xerox Innovation Island, duty of care for IT contractors, or providing a new spaceexplained as follows: where people can be interviewed, the site includes The Xerox Innovation Group (XIG) explores the features that are purely recreational, like the sandboxunknown, invents next-generation technology, and the pool table. architects product platforms, manages intellectualproperty, and creates new business opportunities Training through its research centers and associated operations." Another logic step following on from developer outreach and customer service is virtual training. A trend likely to continue in popularity is the conceptof taking company intranets in-world to create One company, Thomson NetG already provides Intraverses. enterprise software training courses via the Web and was quick to implement a virtual training presence inNPD and showcasing Second Life.The highest graphical and interactive nature of Their in-world campus contains classrooms, labs andmetaverses lends itself extremely well to visualising communication centres staed with mentors andand showcasing new products and services. trainers. In addition to providing in-world avatars forPA Consulting has used this method to excellent eect assistance, NetG has used collateral such as streamed audio and video presentations and podcasts.and actually has three Second Life islands dedicated toshowing demos and examples of new business Intel also provides training in Second Life via theirapplications. Software College and Dev Zone. The company makes Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009 Page 12 13. A virtual bank is being used to test dierent layout congurations. A virtual BP garage has been created to show where underground pipes and tanks are strategically located. Also present is a racetrack explaining the rules of betting as well as an airport to demonstrate check-in procedures. IBM has also leveraged Second Life to demonstrate new product applications. One example is this relates to their involvement in providing measurement toolsSo, in the context of virtual words, this type of project and analysis for real world tennis events. is a perfect t. On Cisco Island, the Connected Home isbeen recreated in order to visual demonstrate the Already they have integrated real-time matches fromfeatures, such as accessing a central media library and the Australian and French Opens as well as view and control security cameras. Wimbledon taking data obtained from the HawkEye system.As shown in the Competitions section later in thisdocument, products, services and other initiatives canbe integrated into other activities of a morepromotional nature. Cisco has done this with theirConnected Life Contest.The Siemens Innovation Connection on UGS island isanother showcasing example.The venue contains recreations of real-world productdevelopment solutions including the JCB Dieselmax, acar that broke the land speed record for diesel- As part of their overall strategy in Second Life, Ciscopowered cars (at over 350 mph). decided to showcase their Connected Home. The Connection Home is Ciscos consumer vision of how the role of the network will impact and inuence technology in the home. The project also involves Linksys and Scientic Atlanta. Also projects shown include to Hendrick MotorsportsNascar which uses NX software (UGSs digital product Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009Page 13 14. development solution) and Teamcenter software (a PLM product). Promotions and competitions In addition to using strategic rationale to explain virtual world activities, some tech sector companies are also deploying tactical initiatives, mainly in the form of promotions and competitions.The Intel Ignites OCC promotion was a tie-in with real AMD has also pushed into this space with its world activity. Intel commissioned Orange County Developer Outreach programme. This is at AMD Dev Choppers to build a bike in celebration of Intels 30Central Island and is a three month treasure hunt for year anniversary. On the island, avatars are able to developers who will be entered into a competition for create their own custom bikes to ride across Seconda Dell E521 with an Athlon 64X2, 4GB of DDR2 Life. Theres also free bikes already built available formemory, a 320GB hard drive and a 20-inch visitors.widescreen monitor. The use of competitions and other similar incentives isMetabranding a mechanic used by many real world companies in Second Life, typically about a month after the launchAs virtual worlds continue to grow in population size of their venues. and brand presence, brand new business models willbe created. This will be driven by the demand for Another example of a contest is Ciscos Connected Life virtual products - Metabrands. Metabrands are - a promotion encouraging the generation and products and services created purely for virtual submission of innovative ideas for a connected life. A consumption. rst prize of $10,000 USD and runner-up prizes wasThis is a key area that tech sector companies should made available.focus on. Over and above looking at metaverses suchas Second Life as communication channels for real-world services, they should closely examine how to Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009 Page 14 15. re-position their expertise to deliver metabrandXerox applications.TMPThomson NetG One company is this sector is already exploring the Sun concept of Metabrands. Sunbelt Software is a real-SunbeltPhilips world provider of anti-spyware/malware and emailPA Consulting security solutions.Microsoft In addition to the expected features such as a virtualLogicaCMGIntel oce and auditorium, the venue provides virtual tools H&R Block for visiting avatars. This is where a prime example of aIBM Metabrand can be found. Sunbelt has created a Dell Second Life security door application that allowsCisco people to control the access to the properties theyAutodeskAMD own in Second Life. Amazon The creation of Metabrands is one of the key future05 101520 revenue streams for all companies and particularly The average in this category is over three venues, with those in the tech sector.IBM stealing the show with 18.Furthermore, the actual buildings created on these Is bigger better?islands are much larger than their counterparts in When companies are considering entering a virtualother business categories. This is most likely explained world such as Second Life, one decision to be made isby an objective of creating the perception of how to visualise and create their companydominance in a newly charted territory. environment. Shown below are two examples of going-large in Across all business sectors, the typical metaverse Second Life. deployment involves purchasing a single island o the mainland. On it there is typically a main oce area and an auditorium. Interestingly, tech sector companies have adopted a bigger is better approach. Bearing in mind the average number of venues across all sectors is one, look at the graph below showing venue counts for the tech sector. Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009 Page 15 16. largest opportunity for all these companies is theprospect of leveraging real-world expertise in order tocreate virtual services and products purely formetaverse consumption. We will shortly be enteringthe age of the Metabrand. In summary The tech sector has been extremely quick to establish company presences in Second Life. And, to a certain extent this decision has been forced on them, in order to keep up with their competitors and stake early claims in this new virtual territory.However, as this case study has explained, there are several dierent options available to this companies, ranging from in-world events and launches, customer service and sales channels, NPD and showcasing and recruitment.For hardware companies, probably the greatest opportunity, aside from the benets listed in the previous paragraph is the platform to recreate their real-world products in a virtual environment and therefore allow avatars to interact and experience them.Software and solution-related organisations (with non-physical products) have a dierent set of opportunities, the primary one the ability to visually represent the specic attributes or features of their services and produce immersive demonstrations or experiences of them.For all technology sector companies, metaverses should be viewed as important future sales and customer services channels. However, potential the Tech Companies in Virtual Worlds: A KZero Worldswide Case Study. Copyright 2006 - 2009Page 16