Short List of Information Resources for Understanding the Metaverse and Staying Current for Supply Professionals

In Procurement Magazine’s “Top 10 Procurement Predictions and Trends in 2022” January article, one of the trends identified is Don’t Doubt the Metaverse. Factor’s Coque K. Dion predicts that procurement leaders, in 2022, will be helping their businesses expand into the metaverse by procuring the best technology platforms and software services for customer engagement.

This prediction is spot on and supply professionals will also need to prepare for the other ways in which the development of the metaverse will impact their everyday work lives. (Keep in mind it is acknowledged by a number of insiders and analysts that the actuality of the metaverse – or metaverses – is still in a very early stage.)

To many, including me, understanding what the metaverse is, what it will develop into, and how to stay knowledgeable about its development, is challenging. To help in this endeavor, here is a short list of selected news publications and information resources to consider for understanding and staying current about the metaverse. (It is expected that this list will change as more resources are published and discovered.)

Background/Introduction to the Metaverse

Jon Madoff – Adventurer, entrepreneur and CEO of Beamable, Jon Madoff, is a prolific knowledge producer about all things metaverse. His Metaverse Canon: Reading Guide is a collection of articles that are categorized by the following sections: Main Concepts – Defining the Metaverse; Creator Economy; Games and Gamification; Virtual Identity and Avatars; NFTs, Digital Collectibles & Play-to-Earn; Business and Industry; Blockchain and Decentralized Finance; Walled Gardens vs. Open Platforms; Network Effects; Graphics Technology and Spatial Computing; Machine Intelligence; and Software, Servers and Networking. Access his Medium site here. Access his Metaverse Glossary and two-minute introductory video here.

Gartner’s What is a Metaverse? – This is a short and succinct introduction to the metaverse that defines it, explains why there is hype around it, shows its elements, and lists the business opportunities around it.

Roit Kathiala, Supply Chain Management Review – This short introductory article explains the metaverse and highlights some of the impacts of metaverse-related technologies on supply chains. Covered are digital supply chains, manufacturing, shortened product life cycles, efficient and transparent purchasing, supply chain transparency, and warehouse operations.

Media and Publications

AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine – This is a nice source to learn about AR and VR and to keep up with the latest news. AR/VR Journey was founded in September 2017 and even though it mostly has an audience of ARVR enthusiasts, investors, designers, developers and journalists, the articles are interesting and on target for procurement and business professionals as well.

VRWorldTech – Just like its name implies, VRWorldTech covers technology developments and self-describes as being dedicated to the business of manufactured realities. Its News section is frequently updated and open access. VRWorldTech Magazine is subscription-based and is aimed at enterprise, business and professional users of immersive technologies, ranging from virtual and augmented reality, to audio-sensory experiences.

XR Today – Launched in 2020, XR Today (XR is short for Extended Reality) provides industry news, market analysis, product reviews and comparisons, and reports on vendors who are shaping the virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality marketplace. Their Smart Guides help buyers learn the features of the latest XR related technologies via common discussion points, a buyer’s checklist and frequently asked questions.

VentureBeat – With its emphasis on transformative tech, AI, ML, and gaming, VentureBeat does a nice job with up to date, continuous coverage of the key metaverse-related tech developments, trends, and concepts that are important to know, not just fluff.

Metaverse Inclusive – Metaverse Inclusive is a community of women writers, creators, and builders who share the latest news, stories and experiences through events, content publications, partnerships, and Metaverse Impact Program. They host events about Diversity and Inclusion in the Metaverse, Social Impact and using Metaverse as a force for good in the real world, and Future of Work in the Metaverse.

Bitcoinist – “Cryptocurrencies are the Metaverse’s money.” There are a number of media sites that provide news and analysis covering cryptocurrencies. Bitcoinist was founded in 2013 and has become a respected media platform that provides breaking news, guides, and price analysis about decentralized digital money & blockchain technology. The editors/writers state that the “principles of accuracy, objectivity, and responsible journalism are at the core of what we do.” Other crypto-related media news sites include CoinDesk, Cointelegraph, and Bitcoin Magazine.

Market Maps

The Metaverse: Framework, Building Blocks and Market Map – Swati Bhatia has created a framework to make sense of the metaverse stack, which is broadly aligned around 5 mega buckets, each of which are critical building blocks needed to enable the metaverse. Provided here is a deep dive and market map of the key players.

The Metaverse Market Map: 90+ Companies Changing The Way We Socialize, Work, And More In A Virtual World – CB Insights provides a market map of 90+ companies that are building the metaverse. Market breakdown sections include Software engines, Asset creation, VR/AR Haptic tech, Displays, Products, Avatars, Asset marketplaces, and Financial services.

Market Map of the Metaverse – Utilizing his self-identified seven layers of the ecosystem (Experience, Discovery, Creator Economy, Spatial Computing, Decentralization, Human Interface, and Infrastructure), Jon Radoff shows where companies (and some open source projects) sit within the market.

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