The Researcher's Dilemma: Progress Incrementally or Make a Big Leap?

The researcher sees that technology is progressing incrementally, rather than making a big leap into immersive environments.

Women experience VR virtual reality goggles during the The Dubai Metaverse Assembly at the Emirates ... [+] Towers, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Looking into the future, it's exciting to think about how virtual reality technology will continue to evolve. In just a few years, VR goggles have gone from being a niche item to something that is becoming increasingly mainstream. And as VR technology gets more sophisticated, it's sure to open up new possibilities for how we interact with the world around us. It's especially interesting to think about how VR will change the way we communicate and connect with others. Already, VR goggles are being used to transport people to far-off places and to create shared experiences.

It's been fascinating to watch the development of the metaverse over the past few years. With the pandemic giving people a renewed appreciation for the importance of connection and human interaction, it's no surprise that people are increasingly interested in spending time in virtual reality. However, I think it's important to remember that the metaverse is still in its early stages of development. There are still a lot of kinks to be ironed out and improvements to be made. I believe that as the metaverse evolves, we will see more and more people spending time in this virtual world.

The initial wave of excitement over metaverse projects is dying down, and researcher Forrester predicts that measured innovation based on existing technologies and products will replace announcements promising a fast track to the metaverse. This measured approach is more likely to result in successful metaverse projects that deliver on their promises.

With the release of its Horizon World, Meta is taking its first steps into the world of virtual reality. However, this new world is a far cry from the life-like virtual reality that many people had hoped for. According to a recent study by Forrester, only 65% of online adults in the United States prefer to have social experiences in person. This lack of interest in Meta's new world may be due to the company's abysmal earnings report last week.

As the initial excitement around the metaverse begins to die down, Forrester predicts that immersive experiences on existing platforms will slowly begin to pick up. In this way, developers will begin to slowly move closer to realizing their vision of the metaverse, rather than freefalling into it.

In 2023, at least three more collaboration-technology providers will introduce metaverse-style features, according to a new report from Forrester. While millions of people will notice these additions popping up on their work applications, only 5% will become active users, the report predicts. Microsoft is already leading the way in this regard, with its brand of virtual reality products called Mesh directly integrated into its business-messaging platform Teams. Forrester believes that as more and more everyday consumers experience the metaverse through applications like Teams, the number of active users will grow steadily over the next few years.

As virtual reality technology continues to develop, the price of virtual reality headsets will likely come down. However, at present, the cost of VR headsets may be a barrier to entry for some people. A Microsoft HoloLens 2 model currently retails for $3,500, while the HP Reverb G2 VR headset is available for $599. The MetaQuest Pro headset retails for $1,499.

If the metaverse fails to live up to the hype, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) could be one of the casualties. NFTs have gained a lot of attention thanks to the launch of numerous collections by brands and celebrities. However, a recent study by Forrester found that 72% of online adults in the United States have never owned an NFT and have no plans to do so in the future.

The Forrester report predicts that NFT projects will shift from celebrity projects to NFTs linked to customer loyalty. This is a great development as it will allow businesses to offer their customers exclusive perks and rewards that can be redeemed in a virtual world. For example, Starbucks could offer its customers exclusive access to a virtual coffee shop or land plot in the Snoopverse. This would be a great way to reward loyal customers and build brand loyalty.