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    Metaverse for service industries: Future applications, opportunities, challenges and research directions

    Jung, Timothy ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8594-6641, Cho, Justin, Han, Dai-In Danny, Ahn, Sun Joo Grace, Gupta, Mansi, Gopal, Das, Heo, Cindy Yoonjoung, Loureiro, Sandra Maria Correia, Sigala, Marianna, Trunfio, Mariapina, Taylor, Alexandra and tom Dieck, M Claudia (2023) Metaverse for service industries: Future applications, opportunities, challenges and research directions. Computers in Human Behavior. p. 108039. ISSN 0747-5632

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    Although the metaverse is still in the early stages of development and implementation, it has the potential to revolutionize the way how businesses can interact with customers through both the virtual and real world. In particular, service industries are already exploring the opportunity to utilize the metaverse to provide more immersive, interactive and engaging customer experiences. However, the holistic overview of the future applications, opportunities, and challenges of a metaverse in the context of service industries from academic and expert perspectives is limited. By employing a multi-perspective approach, this study looks into these unexplored aspects of the metaverse in the context of service industries through informed and multifaceted narratives by leading academics and experts from cross-disciplinary backgrounds from media and communication, education, hospitality, financial services, retail, tourism and healthcare. The main opportunities identified include the development of new experiences, the introduction of novel inter-world interactions, and new business-consumer relations within the metaverse. The key challenges covered include current technological boundaries, limitations of the experiences in the metaverse, health issues, and data privacy, security, and legal issues. The paper concludes with formulating future research agendas and presenting contributions to literature and implications for practice.

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