Metaverse Could Be Another “Hype” Like AR/VR Failing to Attract People

Posted: Date Posted – 11:00 am, Sun – 8 May 22

New Delhi: Let’s take a break from the buzz around the metaverse and find out what exactly happened to the virtual reality/augmented reality (VR-AR) boom that caught the eye a few years ago as people started experimenting with three-dimensional real-world scenarios. (3D) through wearable headsets.

Adopted by the gaming and entertainment sectors, AR-VR headsets have previously flooded shopping malls and public places in India, and oval-shaped VR stations require children to wear devices that head mounted (HMDs) to discover different immersive worlds, such as car racing or horror. in the forest.

However, initial interest quickly disappeared, and the last two years of the pandemic have seen most of these VR outlets closed.

At the same time, smartphone adoption has declined and India alone has over 500 million users.

Even if it came on the scene about six or seven years ago, the impact of AR-VR at the mass level remains visible-on the part of the consumer and business-even as things slowly start to improve. .

Amid the metaverse buzz, the global AR / VR headset market saw a dramatic growth of 92.1% (year-over-year) in 2021 with shipments reaching 11.2 million units, according to ‘IDC .

However, “AR headsets continue to represent a small portion of the overall AR / VR headset market and the volumes we’ve seen occur almost exclusively in the commercial side of the business,” he said. Tom Mainelli, Group Vice President, Device & Consumer Research. at IDC.

Metaverse is undoubtedly pushing hype and investment around augmented reality and virtual reality, as well as a host of adjoining technologies, ”but we don’t expect this behavioral bubble to have an impact on headphone volumes. at any hour “.

Meanwhile, there have been numerous reports of users experiencing mental fatigue, head/eye headaches, nausea, and other health issues while wearing a VR headset.

Metaverse is now recognized as a multi-level deep dive into the world of immersive experiences, the “hybrid normal” that will take your virtual avatars to a variety of settings such as office meetings, sunbathing on the beach, or shopping. in a mall, mimicking real life.

According to JP Gownder, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester, despite the global hype, the metaverse that is the 3D experience layer of the internet is not yet here.

“The metaverse hype has surpassed ordinary people’s short -term interest. Building the metaverse will take many years. The metaverse doesn’t even exist because of the lack of interoperability and portability of experiences,” Gownder said. IANS.

For Metaverse to be a reality, it must support an immersive experience in interoperable and interconnected environments provided by a variety of devices – from smartphones and VR headsets to other undesigned objects. .

“The business side will adopt some technologies primarily from the metaverse more quickly than the mass market of consumers,” Gownder said.

Last month, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel criticized Metaverse, saying the concept was “somewhat ambiguous and hypothetical,” clearly pointing to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has been doing major projects around the metaverse by spending billions of dollars.

Meta even opened its first U.S. retail store on April 9 to sell the Quest 2 AR-VR headset, Quest 2 accessories, and Portal smart video device.

A Gartner report published in February showed that more than a third of consumers (35%) have never heard of Metaverse.

Nearly 58% of respondents had heard of Metaverse but did not know what it meant.

Only 6% of people said they were comfortable with their understanding of Metaverse to explain it to others. Nearly 21% said they were worried about the possible effects of the metaverse.

“Thinking of the metaverse is a luxury that most people don’t have time for right now,” said Kyle Rees, chief and analyst at Gartner.

According to Prativa Mohapatra, Vice President and General Manager of Adobe India, the number of metaverse experiences that people will finally adopt is unclear at the present time as it is just a buzzword. .

“In the metaverse, we now do a lot of interactions, meetings, location visits and tours, etc. How long people want to accept this remains a question. However, for a given -distribution and hybrid pandemic workers, collaboration in metaverse-like scenarios will only increase in importance, ”Mohapatra said. IANS.

Gownder says perfect consumer experiences will take time to mature to the point where a mass market of people want to interact with them.

“Today most players and young consumers spend a lot of time in virtual worlds,” he said.

Single-vendor platform activations such as augmented or virtual worlds, game environments, and developer tools are just introductions to the metaverse.

“Metaverse also requires regulatory standards, privacy codes of conduct, and inclusive and compelling user experience (UX) design,” Gownder points out.

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