EY does the metaverse – can it save all things Meta?

Ernst & Young has updated EY wavespace™, a global network that provides clients experiences in the so-called metaverse space. The news comes one day after lacking financial results from Facebook owner Meta, the current figurehead of extended reality in enterprise.

EY wavespace™ and the EY metaverse lab are touted as guiding clients through immersive digital experiences, including helping them to anticipate new business models and shift to a decentralized economy arising out of Web3-based applications and platforms such as blockchain.

On a granular level, EY is offering people with skills in 3D design, web animation, game development, art direction and human experience design. These talents are offered up with experience in artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and digital twin robotics to create extended reality environments across web, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR). Solutions are customized per industry and client; industrial clients, for example, may benefit from virtual supply chains and smart factories in EY’s metaverse space.

Edwina Fitzmaurice, EY global chief customer success officer, said: “I am seeing a lot of interest in the metaverse from clients in all sectors and industries. At this stage, the metaverse is about creativity and opportunity, not certainty.”

Wise words considering how uncertain the metaverse space and its future currently stands. Yesterday’s Q3 2022 earnings for Meta showed the company lost $3.7bn through its own VR/AR subsidiary, Reality Labs.

The Meta spin on things is that this was part of the plan whilst the company finds its footing with the still-nascent form of technology. In the words of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “This is a massive undertaking and it’s often going to take a few versions of each product before they become mainstream.”

According to noted metaverse critic and chief strategy officer at Diva Agency James Whatley, Meta “has gone too far too soon on the future of the internet and too little too late on the future of long-form video.”

“Compounded with the ground being lost to the unstoppable growth of TikTok, you can see why the-company-formerly-known-as-Facebook finds itself (after the results) on tricky ground with the markets – stock fell 18 percent in after-hours trading,” Whatley wrote on Linkedin.

It appears EY’s latest quarterly doesn’t have financial stats for its own metaverse division, so it remains to be seen how long Ernst & Young will keep playing in the virtual sphere. But a focus on the industrial metaverse through its updated platform may have more legs than Meta’s future social media ambitions.

EY doesn’t stand alone either in the consultancy space when it comes to the field; Accenture last year gave 60,000 virtual reality headsets to new recruits for onboarding. If companies are genuine about the metaverse, then expensive freebies may be the only recourse for uptake.