Companies and brands are increasingly looking at the metaverse to market their products and services.
Consequently, large corporations such as HSBC, JP & Morgan, and even Standard Chartered Bank have entered the metaverse.
In addition, entertainers like Snoop Dogg and cosmetic companies like Estée Lauder have tried to get their place in the metaverse.
One can conclude that most big companies look at the metaverse as a future marketing platform, where consumers will experience their products and services in an immersive environment, leading to increased sales.
Something is Holding the Metaverse Back, and It is not Catching Up Among Mainstream Users
Yet, the metaverse is slow to catch up among regular users. Many have not even heard of virtual platforms such as Decentraland or The Sandbox.
Only 5% of teenagers use VR headsets, and older generations such as the millennials or the baby boomers don’t seem to care yet.
Although the metaverse is likely to become as commonplace as the internet that we know today, it has a lot of constraints that initial versions of the internet did not have.
In this article, we take a quick look at what stops the metaverse from achieving the stars it already should have.
Different Generations Use the Metaverse Differently
- Gen Z, youngsters born after the year 2000, are most likely to use the metaverse at the moment. However, there is a caveat.
They mostly associate the metaverse with gaming and social platforms and not entirely with big brands and shopping.
Only 5% of them have access to the hardware necessary to experience the metaverse completely.
This includes headsets and wearable devices that enhance immersive experiences.
- Millennials born between 1982 and 2000 are a large cohort with varied experiences.
While most of them are digital natives, they do not seem to be catching up on the metaverse trend.
This is because they are bogged down by regulations related to cryptocurrency, difficulty in accessing NFTs and blockchain-based products, and dismal quality of VR and AR headgear.
It may be interesting to note that most larger companies try to target the millennials because they are the ones that are most likely to spend money on products and services today digitally.
- For Generation X and baby boomers, or those born before 1982, the metaverse seems like a tech buzzword.
Most might probably be happy using Facebook or sending out emails to their friends and family.
Those who use the internet for business tend to use it mostly for shopping or banking.
One shouldn’t forget that older generations are averse to using AR and VR headsets and wearable devices.
As a result, the idea of metaverse has not yet caught up among these two older generations.
Subpar Metaverse Hardware is a Huge Hurdle to Overcome
When one observes these three disparate cohorts, it becomes clear that the genuine hurdle towards metaverse becoming mainstream is truly the hardware that it requires.
Current AR and VR headsets and wearable device models are clunky and expensive.
They do not provide the immersive experience necessary for the metaverse to go mainstream.
Clunky and Expensive Hardware is Holding the Metaverse Back
While youngsters mostly look at the metaverse as a gaming platform, the millennials and some cohorts of Gen X look at it as a platform to bank, shop, and socialize.
Indeed, there is a massive interest among companies, both small and large, to make their presence felt on the metaverse.
However, this interest seems one-sided and is not reciprocated by actual users.
The rest do not seem to find the metaverse accessible at all.
What truly stops all these cohorts from accessing the metaverse in a mainstream manner is clunky and expensive hardware.
As soon as we have access to affordable but seamless VR and AR-enabled headsets and wearable devices, metaverse may become mainstream. It is only a matter of time before that happens.