The virtual reality headset, the future of the metaverse

The metaverse continues to reach new heights thanks to the development of wearable devices such as virtual reality (VR) headsets. However, due to the unfavorable economic conditions, sales of these helmets have declined. So do companies still think 2023 will be the year of the metaverse?

The metaverse has been one of the biggest trends in 2022. According to a December 2021 Bloomberg report, this industry is expected to reach $800 billion by 2024. Thus, the huge growth of metaverse and virtual reality has attracted many entrepreneurs from gaming, art, e-commerce, healthcare, blockchain, and other retail leaders.

The metaverse consists of a simulated digital environment that mixes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), social media concepts and blockchain. Together, all these elements aim to develop different areas of interaction for users that are closer to the real world. The person can thus indulge in shopping and even work in this simulated environment without leaving the comfort of their home.

Users can join the metaverse from anywhere in the world. They need a high-speed internet connection and a VR headset to immerse themselves in a simulated 3D world.

VR headsets and gloves transport users into a digital world without having to leave their bed or home. However, it is reported that by 2030 these VR headsets will convert into a full-body haptic suit.

The headphone that has been at the forefront of the market right now is Meta’s Quest 2, which went on sale in 2020. It was later followed by the business-focused Quest Pro, but which costs $1,100 more off the Quest 2. This significant price increase making it an unaffordable product for many VR enthusiasts. This is also reflected in the sales statistics in the US and globally, given Meta’s majority share and dominance.

According to data from NPD Group, sales of VR headsets decreased by 2% at the end of December 2022, compared to $1.10 billion in 2021. The decrease amounts to 12% year-on-year to fall to 9.60 million dollars.

This drop in sales is not a surprise given the current difficult market conditions. Ben Arnold, consumer electronics analyst at NPD, told BeInCrypto via Twitter, “VR has had some amazing high days in 2021. It was the perfect time (in 2021) to get one of these products and VR has been a hit.”

Nevertheless, the increase in prices, attributed to inflation, remains the main factor that led to the drop in sales figures for 2022. To shed more light on the situation, BeInCrypto contacted analysts at CCS Insight. After an email conversation, the team said in a report: “Macroeconomic weakness is taking its toll on the markets for consumer devices and virtual and augmented reality devices (often referred to together as augmented reality) is no exception.”

The company said that the global unit sales of this branch reached $10 million in 2022. But in 2023, they are expected to reach only $11.40 million.

Apple and Sony take the step into the metaverse

Tech giant Apple plans to launch its own version of the headset this year. Similarly, the product of another big name in gaming, Sony, whose headset will cost around $500, is expected to arrive next month.

Source: Playstation.blog

HTC, a Taiwan-based technology company, recently introduced its VIVE XR Elite product.

Cher Wang, co-founder and chairman of HTC, said the release of his device, priced at $1,099, was the gateway to the metaverse.

Other companies are also taking the plunge, having invested large cash reserves to achieve the same result.

What are the upcoming hurdles for the sector?

The Metaverse, like other technologies before it, is bound to run into obstacles. And the more its popularity rises, the more the interest of regulatory watchdogs rises in tact.

Malicious actors can take different paths to rob users of metaverse. One must therefore be especially vigilant against financial crimes such as scams and fraud, as well as those that are more specific to digital assets. These include, for example, hacking and theft of digital assets belonging to users of services linked to the metaverse. Therefore, the authorities are calling for research into this new technology.

At the same time, some uncertainties and ambiguities regarding the metaverse still need to be clarified.

The moral of the story? To survive, the metaverse may need more than a pixelated virtual universe.

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