After Mark Zuckerberg finally gave metaverse avatars legs, users are walking from an expanded, immersive internet to spend more time in the real world as the global coronavirus pandemic ends.
After the initial excitement about metaverse projects dies down, researcher Forrester thinks announcements that promise a fast track to the metaverse will be replaced by announcements of measured innovation based on existing technologies and products.
Meta’s baby steps with Horizon World are far from the idea that one day people will be able to do anything in a lifelike virtual reality, from biking tournaments to surgery. Despite the option of a virtual world with legs, Forrester found that 65% of US online adults would rather meet people in person. After Meta’s terrible earnings report last week, the metaverse appears to be at its worst.
Immersive experiences on existing platforms will grow, according to Forrester. Developers can take action instead of just falling toward their metaverse vision.
In its report, the company used Microsoft’s decision to directly integrate its Mesh virtual reality products into Teams, its business-messaging platform, as an example of how ordinary people will experience the metaverse. At least three more collaboration technology companies, like Zoom or Slack, will add metaverse-like features by 2023, according to researchers. Even though millions of people will see these new features on their work apps, Forrester believes only 5% will use them.
Joining a fully immersive metaverse may be difficult due to the cost of virtual reality headsets. $3,500 buys a Microsoft HoloLens 2. Non-techies can buy the HP Reverb G2 VR headset for $599. $1,499 buys the MetaQuest Pro headset.
The metaverse’s lack of excitement could hurt non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which have garnered attention from brands and celebrities releasing many collections. 72% of US online adults have never owned an NFT and have no plans to do so, according to Forrester.
In a blockchain-based metaverse, NFTs allow people to own digital assets like virtual real estate. Snoop Dogg created The Sandbox’s Snoopverse. 22 virtual plots, 67 premium plots, and three buildable estates make up the branded universe. Snoop’s online neighbor paid $450,000 for a piece of land. NFT projects will focus on customer loyalty rather than celebrities, according to Forrester. NFTs are used by Starbucks to offer special perks.
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