Virtual Reality

Consumers are really fed up with the metaverse

We won’t just be playing in the metaverse, we’ll be shopping, buying, selling, socializing, and even working in 3D virtual realities. Just ask the marketing executives of any major consumer brand.

But marketers and managers could face a rude awakening as the small but growing metaverse ecosystem grapples with a growing problem of cybersickness, a digital version of seasickness that seems to be far more common. with virtual reality headsets.

Publications ranging from Glamor to Neuroscience News have started talking about it, but cybersickness isn’t just a headline disease.

Clinical studies published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Nature bear titles such as “Reducing Cybersickness in 360-Degree Virtual Reality” and “Clinical predictors of cybersickness in virtual reality (VR) between high stress people”.

“Despite advances in virtual reality (VR) technology, users constantly struggle with feelings of nausea and disorientation, the so-called cybersickness,” the latter’s summary began. “Cybersickness symptoms cause severe discomfort and impede the immersive virtual reality experience.”

The Nature study noted that cybersickness isn’t just something that could affect metaverse play.

“The use of virtual reality (VR) in the treatment of psychiatric disorders is increasing, and cybersickness has emerged as a significant hurdle to overcome,” he said, warning that “clinical factors affecting cybersickness are still not well understood.

9 to 5

Companies ranging from Fortnite and the maker of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games to blockchain-based metaverse platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox all claim this is where we’ll all spend our working hours, many employers plan to have us work days there too.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has aggressively pitched his dreams of a metaverse as a place where workers can collaborate and relax after hours. And “Web3” – effectively a privacy-focused, blockchain-based future internet – became so hyped that marketers and increasingly C-suites felt it needed a strategy and even a director of the metaverse.

On the 9 to 5 front, automakers have been early adopters, with companies ranging from hypercar maker Rimac Bugatti to BMW teaming up with graphics chip maker Nvidia to create metaverse-style work environments. who manage everything from physical design tools and meeting spaces to marketing. environments where potential buyers can test drive vehicles and experience interior design choices.

But others, from multinational manufacturing company Siemens to consulting giant Deloitte, are using Nvidia’s Omniverse Cloud as the foundation on which to build these mini-metaverses for customers.

See: Nvidia and Deloitte beat Meta to hit with enterprise VR offering

According to an April article in the Harvard Business Review, “The metaverse looks poised to reshape the world of work in at least four big ways: immersive new forms of team collaboration; the emergence of new digital and AI-enabled colleagues; accelerating learning and skill acquisition through virtualization and gaming technologies; and the eventual rise of a metaverse economy with completely new businesses and work roles.

Too much metaverse

Despite the low numbers of actual users, brands like Wendy’s and Samsung have settled in — Wendyverse is located in Meta’s Horizon Worlds and the electronics giant’s 837X event space in Decentraland — and many more are piling up.

Read more: Samsung welcomes its metaverse users to CES 2022

Yet a recent study from the University of Coburg in Germany found dismal results. Two of 18 volunteers who spent a full working week in a VR headset version of the Metaverse dropped out with symptoms of cybersickness on the first day.

The other 16 said they felt their workload increased by 35%, frustration increased by 42%, eye strain by almost 50%, and participants’ self-assessed workflow decreased by 14%. and their perceived productivity had dropped by 16%.

Leaving aside poor work environment outcomes, this raises a serious question about shopping and socializing in the Metaverse: After a full day at work, who will want to head into the Metaverse to order dinner or buy shoes? ?

This does not bode well for business or commerce in the Metaverse.

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