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Can Meta Survive as Metaverse Shifts Away From VR Headsets?

2 mins
15 March 2023, 02:36 GMT+0000
Updated by Kyle Baird
15 March 2023, 02:36 GMT+0000
In Brief
  • Meta may face pushback from users of its Horizon Workrooms product as corporate metaverse strategies eschew VR headsets.
  • Consulting firm Wipro estimates that small firms will increase their metaverse investments by $66 million in the next two years.
  • ALready, Meta is facing pushback for the health implications of its VR hardware.
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A survey of 550 global businesses and technology executives reveals that investment in metaverse objectives will grow, with a small pack of early adopters pulling away from the rest. Will Meta get left behind in this race?

While most global business leaders agree that the metaverse will enhance their businesses by creating more immersive customer experiences, only a few have amassed the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve clear business objectives.

Can Strategic Goals Drive Metaverse Investment

The study, conducted by technology services and consulting firm Wipro, said firms driven by clear metaverse initiatives lead investment in the space at $4.7 million, compared to $640,000 by non-leaders.

While these firms will continue spending, smaller firms will close the gap by increasing their contributions to the metaverse by $66.3 million. The study also predicts that about 50% of larger companies will have metaverse platforms. In contrast, only one-third of smaller firms will be in the metaverse by 2025. 

Presently, telecoms, sports, and games firms dominate the metaverse. The report says that manufacturing will combine the Internet of Things with cryptocurrencies to take the sector’s share of the metaverse to 38% by 2025. 

A recent report by FastCompany suggests that leaders will use virtual worlds to conduct immersive training but may only see returns when strategic goals are met. These include greater innovation and inventing new business models. Additionally, immersive corporate spaces allow companies to scale and pivot quickly. 

One CEO in the survey said the metaverse would allow casino customers to play from anywhere.

Executive Sentiment on Metaverse | Source: Wipro
Executive Sentiment on Metaverse | Source: Wipro

These companies will likely use existing platforms like Sandbox, Decentraland, Roblox, and Star Atlas. Corporate metaverses will also consist of more advanced avatars.

Horizon Worlds Workrooms Suffers From Headset Problems

Recently, Facebook parent Meta said it would revamp its Horizon Worlds metaverse to retain teenage users. Reports surfaced that it was eyeing a partnership with Tencent. Tencent competitor ByteDance is encroaching on Meta’s virtual reality market share.

But notably, Meta’s version of a corporate workspace, dubbed Horizon Worlds Workrooms, requires an expensive and cumbersome headset that appears many companies are eschewing in favor of more ready-to-use virtual worlds like Roblox and Decentraland.

One industry expert opines that people are not ready for a virtual workspace transition.  

“I’m yet to see any signals that there’s a willingness to engage with this,” cutting-edge tech research firm CEO John Egan told Time.

Screen refresh rates of VR hardware in Horizon Worlds also present challenges to VR experiences with kinetic and gamelike experiences. A recent study by Lockheed Martin found that some of Meta’s headset designs prejudice female users. Female users’ pupils diverge when wearing the device. This unnatural pupil position means that females experience nausea and strain.

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