The meta-verse could be another “hype” like AR / VR that could not capture people

Let’s take a break from the buzz around the meta-verse and find out what really happened with the virtual reality / augmented reality (VR-AR) boom that caught the eye a few years ago when people started experimenting with three-dimensional scenarios in the real world. (3D) via portable headsets.

AR-VR headsets adopted by the gaming and entertainment sector once flooded shopping malls and public places in India, and oval VR stations required children to wear head-mounted devices (HMDs) to discover various immersive worlds, such as car racing or horror. in the jungle.

However, initial interest declined rapidly, and in the last two years of the pandemic, most of these VR stores were shut down.

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In the same period, the smartphone adoption has skyrocketed and India alone has over 500 million users.

Even though it came on the scene six or seven years ago, the impact of AR-VR on a mass level is still visible – both on the consumer and business side – even though things have started slowly.

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

But “AR headsets still represent a small part of the total AR / VR headset market, and the volumes we see appear almost exclusively on the commercial side of the business,” said Tom Mainelli, Group Vice President, Device & Consumer Studies at IDC.

Metaverse undoubtedly drives the hype and investment around AR and VR and a range of adjacent technologies, “but we do not expect this frothy behavior to affect the volume of the headphones so quickly”.

Meanwhile, there have been several reports that users have experienced mental fatigue, headaches / eye strain, nausea and other health issues while wearing VR headsets.

Metaverse is now being touted as a deep dive on the next level into a world of immersive experiences, into the “hybrid normal” that will take your virtual avatars through various environments 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, the meta-verse, which is the Internet’s 3D experience layer, despite the global hype, is not here yet.

“The metaverse hype has overtaken the short-term interest of ordinary people. The construction of the meta-verse will take many years. The meta-verse does not even exist yet due to lack of interoperability and portability of experiences, ”Gownder told IANS.

For Metaverse to become a reality, it must support an immersive experience of interoperable and interconnected environments delivered through a variety of devices – from smartphones and VR headsets to other form factors that have not yet been designed.

“The business segment will adopt some precursor technologies from the meta-verse faster than the consumer mass market,” Gownder said.

At the end of last month, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel slammed Metaverse, saying the concept is “rather ambiguous and hypothetical”, clearly targeting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has made major projects around the metaverse by spend billions of dollars.

Meta even opens its first US retail store on April 9, which will sell their Quest 2 AR-VR headsets, Quest 2 accessories and Portal smart video devices.

A Gartner report published in February indicated that more than a third of consumers (35%) had 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 enough with their understanding of Metaverse to explain it to others. Nearly 21% said they were concerned about the impact that metaverse could have.

“Considering the meta-verse is a luxury most people do not have time for right now,” said Kyle Rees, principal and analyst at Gartner.

According to Prativa Mohapatra, Vice President and General Manager of Adobe India, the number of experiences in the meta-verse that people will eventually adopt is unclear at this time as it is only a buzzword. .

“In the meta-verse, we now do more interactions, meetings, location visits and tours, etc. How much people would like to accept is still a question. For a distributed and hybrid workforce in the pandemic, however, collaboration in metaverse-style scenarios will only grow in importance, said Mohapatra to IANS.

Gownder said fully consumer experiences will take longer to mature to the point where a mass market of people want to engage with them.

“Today, it is mostly gamers and very young consumers who spend a lot of time in virtual worlds,” he noted.

Single-vendor platform activations such as expanded or virtual worlds, game environments, and developer tools are merely precursors to the metaverse.

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

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