Metaverse – Are we ready for the virtual experience yet?

Anyone interested in future Internet trends can hardly avoid the winged term “metaverse”; The vision of merging the boundaries between the real and virtual world and being able to step into immersive parallel worlds is just too appealing. The euphoria for the next iteration of the internet can be seen in the amounts companies outside the tech cosmos are now investing to be part of the metaverse.

And even when it comes to German consumers, the hype doesn’t just seem to affect digital natives: As the current edition of Deloitte’s Media Consumer Survey shows, 41% of the 2,000 consumers surveyed in February are already familiar with the metaverse. 27% even report having a concrete understanding of what the Metaverse is – an impressive value given the limited hands-on experience so far.

More than a buzzword: wide range of possible applications

At least as remarkable: nearly 40% of respondents could imagine being active in the metaverse themselves, regardless of their age. If you ask this group about the most popular application scenarios, virtual meeting with friends comes first (30%), followed by virtual trips (26%) and shopping trips (25%). There is also great agreement across age limits when it comes to virtual live events: for a third of people interested in the metaverse, they are a real alternative to real events. Another 27% would attend both virtual and real events.

“Even though the opportunities are currently particularly attractive for the younger segments, the survey results confirm that the metaverse has enormous potential regardless of age,” says Klaus Böhm, Head of Media & Entertainment at Deloitte Germany. “Companies, on the other hand, can benefit from the great interest in monetizable applications such as virtual shopping and product presentations and use digital platforms to defend their brand image in the metaverse.”

Virtual goods: not just an issue for early adopters

From digital real estate to artwork and sneakers, some of the trading of virtual goods in the metaverse is already a reality – and in some cases has led to significant sums being put on the table. No deterrent for the majority of respondents: The majority of people interested in Metaverse (55%) can basically imagine buying virtual goods – albeit at a significantly lower price point. Interest in multimedia content such as video or music recordings is particularly high (25%). Virtual concert tickets (21%) and virtual fashion to dress up one’s own avatar – the digital double of the Metaverse – (19%) follow a little further.

Full perspective: only with the right glasses

In theory, the Metaverse can be explored in a purely two-dimensional way via a desktop computer, but it is only through the use of Extended Reality (XR) that the feeling of merging with virtual parallel worlds emerges. XR includes closed virtual reality (VR) glasses as well as open augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) hardware. So far, the initial hype around these technologies has not turned into a mass phenomenon, but there is still great openness from consumers: almost one in two people (48%) can imagine buy virtual reality glasses. Although the sales figures are even more “niche”, the basic willingness to buy AR and MR glasses is 50%, regardless of age.

Brave new world (alternate)?

So get involved unconditionally in the vision of the future of Metaverse – come what may? Even though 45% of survey participants perceive the developments as “exciting” and therefore positive, more than a third look to the Metaverse with some anxiety. Among the 61% of respondents who do not want to use the Metaverse, many doubt its added value (37%), prefer activities in real space (32%) or worry about a lack of data protection ( 26%).

“The metaverse has entered the minds of many consumers. To stay there for the long term and conquer additional segments, the main thing for providers is to remove possible barriers to use,” concludes Klaus Böhm. also involves taking data protection concerns seriously and closing gaps in regulation, transparency, and education. unique user and a stronger approach to target groups with an affinity for technology.

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