More than one-third of consumers (35%) have never heard of the metaverse, according to Gartner, Inc. A Gartner survey of 324 consumers during January 2022 identified where the everyday American is on the metaverse awareness spectrum.
The survey finds that 58% of respondents have either heard of the metaverse but do not know what it means, or think they understand the metaverse but would struggle to explain it to someone else. Only 6% of people identify as being comfortable enough in their understanding of the metaverse to explain it to others.
“This is a helpful signal to temper short term expectations of the metaverse, and its potential impact on consumer’s daily life,” said Kyle Rees, senior director analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice. “It will be exciting to see how meta-aware companies begin to make sense of next-generation technologies to bring new products, services and experiences to the world around us.
“Technologies that are intertwined with the metaverse, such as projects on the blockchain or digital currencies, need to be highlighted as disruptive to the status quo thinking. Even properly communicating business use cases around metaverse-adjacent concepts, such as AI and augmented reality, will go a long way in demystifying what is still largely an unknown technology to the everyday consumer.”
Of those who at least know about the metaverse, 60% have no opinion on it, and only 18% are actually excited about it. Meanwhile, 21% say they’re concerned about the impacts the metaverse might have.
“Companies with interests in the metaverse have a lot of work to change consumer’s attitudes,” continued Rees. “Contemplating the metaverse is a luxury that most people don’t have time for currently. Getting people on board to see past the individual pieces of AI or head-mounted displays is paramount to them truly embracing the multiple technologies that make up a complete metaverse. There are complex, innovative new opportunities and business models that the average consumer needs to be able to grasp easily, or companies risk losing their interest.”