While the Metaverse spans across the digitally enhanced realm and reality with businesses venturing into the parallel world to facilitate buying and selling of goods, interactions between users and even owning a piece of land, only 15% of people actually know what the Metaverse is, according to a new study.
The study titled “New Realities Into the Metaverse and Beyond” by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, shows that even though people have heard of the Metaverse, most would not feel safe trying to explain exactly what it is.
The company surveyed 3,005 people between the ages of 16 and 65 in China, the United States, and the United Kingdom.74% of people surveyed in March had heard of the Metaverse, but only 15% of them said they could explain the concept of the Metaverse to another person, showing that familiarity with the concept does not necessarily equate to understanding.
Of those who understood what the Metaverse is, 74% described it as the future, 72% as the next big thing, 68% as the next internet, and 66% as life-changing.
Asked about the industries they felt would be impacted by the Metaverse, respondents said entertainment (90%), advertising (89%), retail (86%), fashion (85%), sports ( 82%), finances (82%), health (81%), beauty (80%), government (76%) and bars and restaurants (76%).
Among those who are familiar with Metaverse, 70% believe that the retail Metaverse will be a place to shop and 68% say it will be the future of eCommerce and online shopping.
Raj Kapoor, Chief Advisor, Acryptoverse, says, “This question is at the lips of all, young and old. Like many emerging technologies, experts differ in how to define them, and there is a great deal of hype being generated. Most of the focus is on the consumer applications of the metaverse, and many dismiss it as a consideration for the future.”
Kapoor however believes that the metaverse is actionable and the world should get ready for it.
Like other technology, Metaverse also comes with its concerns and challenges.
The study points out that respondents are concerned about children’s privacy (72%), adult privacy (69%), data protection (69%), children’s safety (66% ), and bullying (57%) when they think of metaverse.
Talking about the challenges in the Metaverse, Kapoor says that it should be ensured that it is developed with responsibility at the core.
“From ownership of data to inclusion and diversity to sustainability and through to security and personal safety, this work must begin now. We are, after all, on the threshold of a new decade of digital transformation, and at a defining moment for all leaders,” he adds.
Aliasgar Merchant, Developer Relations Engineer at Ignite says adoption and excitement are two different things and just because people are excited about a new revolution does not constitute its wide-scale adoption.
Comparing metaverse to the emergence of the internet, Merchant says, “while people were excited about the technology (internet), its actual adoption took a very long time. This could be because of a lack of understanding, fear of new challenges, etc. Similarly, people are excited about metaverse but don’t necessarily understand its true potential and application. This is a slow and gradual process which will be done with time.”