Businesses are shunning the metaverse because it's just not very good

Illustration of a man playing football while wearing a VR headset
(Image credit: Shutterstock / stockshutterit)

A new report from Gartner has claimed the metaverse is really not living up to expectations, despite companies like Apple and Meta pushing their ideal virtual realities.

Among the discoveries in the report were two key findings: VR outside of gaming is failing to meet customer expectations, and immersive meetings are not compelling enough for businesses to want to invest time and money moving away from already-good-enough video conferencing platforms.

This comes at a time when Meta is refining its expenses in what it calls its ‘year of efficiency,’ in preparation to throw more money at artificial intelligence and the metaverse. Equally, Apple has teased its Vision Pro headset which is expected to land on shelves in 2024 with an eye-watering $3,499 price tag.

The metaverse is nowhere near ready for us

Either the metaverse is not ready for us, or we’re not ready for the metaverse: Gartner has it that Gen Z is the only group expressing any measurable interest in the metaverse. Even so, 85% “are really not that interested in brands operating in metaverses.” A further two in five (43%) said that they are purposefully avoiding it owing to a lack of understanding.

Use cases aren’t all that clear, either: improving productivity, enhancing customer experiences and engagement, and addressing marketing, brand identity, and sales are all common areas that are hoped can be touched by the metaverse, but a lack of direction sees the metaverse more as a gimmick than anything beneficial.

That said, there are some instances where virtual reality headsets can prove beneficial. Microsoft can write pages about how it has helped Porsche technicians service cars and train staff more effectively with a variation of its Hololens.

That same Hololens, which has been tweaked for the US Army, has been under scrutiny for months about its lack of comfort and its conspicuousness.

Virtual meetings, though, are still out of the question. Ultimately, many workers believe that no matter how good the technology becomes, avatars will never be able to reproduce the physical communicational cues that form integral parts of our conversations.

Gartner’s research concludes by asking potential buyers to focus on the value they might be able to achieve from the metaverse, which will mean for many that holding off is the right decision for now.

Via The Register

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!