A Metaverse Users Want

Revisit our on demand webinar to hear what consumers want of immersive platforms like VR and metaverse-like experiences.

The author(s)

  • Katelyn Faulks Senior UX Researcher, US, User Experience
  • Jason Rogers Senior UX Researcher
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In recent months, it’s been near-impossible to miss the buzz around the metaverse and other visions for online community and connection. But an important perspective has gone underdiscussed: How do early adopters and current users see the future of this technology?

Katelyn Faulks and Jason Rogers, Senior UX Researchers at Ipsos, interviewed virtual reality (VR) users from a wide range of backgrounds about their experiences with metaverse platforms, the shortcomings they’ve encountered, and the innovations they’re most excited for.

In "What Metaverse Users Want," Faulks and Rogers shared key learnings from these conversations and considered what they mean for the future of "extended reality.” They were left with six key takeaways:

  • Current behavior and interests provide insight into future extended reality (XR) use cases 
    • People value and use VR to explore new places, socialize with others, and simulate/learn about new experiences.
    • Multi-sensory experiences may improve immersion by allowing for more seamless blending of the physical world & digital technology.
  • Improved technology may encourage continued use
    • Poor hardware and software performance of VR creates cumbersome, low-quality experiences
    • Lighter, less bulky hardware may improve comfort and may encourage use for longer periods
  • Safe & secure experiences are important to users
    • Public XR platforms must include safety measures to prevent against harassment from other users.
    • People expect transparency around how companies use, store, and manage their data.

Many of the technologies that will shape the future of the metaverse already exist in some form, like augmented reality (AR) smartphone apps and VR headsets or online environments like Decentraland and Roblox. But in an extended reality future, these platforms and interfaces could be woven into one seamless, “phygital” ecosystem. This model could transform leisure, retail, education, and more.

Even now, the foundation for an XR framework is visible. While historical attention toward VR has largely focused on gaming, Faulks and Rogers found a diverse set of applications for today’s VR technology, including socializing, fitness, exploration, and productivity. Some of this growth can be chalked up to a socially distant world: In 2021, purchases of VR and AR technology grew by 92.1% worldwide.

But other applications could extend far beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Some respondents used virtual worlds as sites for socializing with friends, family and strangers or self-expression through avatars and virtual homes. Others expressed interest in using headsets to try out a new career, to demo virtual versions of products prior to purchase, or to “travel" to the other side of the world without leaving the couch.

Still, as Faulks and Rogers’ interviews make clear, the next generation of metaverse technology must reckon with existing issues.

Some obstacles are matters of broadband and computing power. Respondents described how glitches, lag, and loading times can break immersion with virtual worlds. But other users raised questions about the steep costs of hardware and pay-to-play models. Data security was another common concern—and then, as with anywhere on the internet, there's the question of safety and privacy. As one respondent put it: "It's sort of the wild west in there."

But as Faulks and Rogers noted, this is a time of incredible potential and possibility. In the years to come, tech leaders could make the metaverse even more accessible to the general public, while technological innovations like haptic and other sensory feedback could make virtual worlds even more immersive. It’s an exciting time – at least, for the future that metaverse users want.

 


An AI-generated audio transcript is offered below. Apologies in advance for inconsistencies that have been included.

0:06

Thank you for joining us for today's Ipsos webinar, exploring the role of immersive platforms in our Lives and potential future for VR technology and metaverse like experiences.

0:20

Today's presentation is being given by Katelyn Faulks and Jason Rogers, and you can read more about them on the slide in front of you. Throughout today's session, you will remain in listen only mode, However, throughout the webinar, you may submit questions online using the Q and A feature. Our plan is to answer your questions at the end of today's session, however, if time run short, then your question will be answered by e-mail.

0:51

Today's webinar is also being recorded and will be directly e-mailed to you. So, now, without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce today's first speaker, Katelyn Faulks, senior researcher with Ipsos’ User Experience Team. Katelyn, you have the floor.

1:14

Thanks Elen, and thank you everyone for joining our webinar.

1:17

Today, Jason and I will share key learnings from a study that we did with virtual reality users to understand how their usage of VR has evolved over the course of the pandemic.

1:28

We're going to talk about their current experiences with immersive virtual worlds, their hopes and concerns for the future of extended reality technology as well as the emerging metaverse landscape.

1:40

In just a moment, we're going to define a few of these terms. But first, let me give you a picture of what the webinar will look like today.

1:50

We're going to start, of course, as I mentioned, by defining extended reality, like AR, VR, and, of course, what is the metaverse.

1:59

Then we're going to examine the data that we had used to inspire some of the research that we ended up doing.

2:07

We're going to look at how the background of covert 19 and different factors within the last two years have really catalyzed the adoption and use of AR and VR.

2:16

And also cemented the value of social experiences online.

2:20

Then we will share with you findings from a recent study that we did with actual VR users.

2:28

Farewells Chair, the insights that we learned for what accusers hope VR, and AR technologies will look like as it continues to improve.

2:38

Finally, we'll share key tips that we've learned anyone should consider when building extended Reality experiences that may serve as a solid starting point for Metaverse school experiences as well.

2:50

So, as I mentioned, let's take a step back and define some of these terms.

2:55

Will see our app right now with Metaverse and how it's evolved.

3:00

Extended Reality is an umbrella term for technology that connects physical and virtual together.

3:08

We're gonna start with virtual reality, which is one of the extended reality technologies that we're going to speak a lot about today.

3:15

Virtual reality allows the user to fully immerse themselves into a digital or a virtual place.

3:22

They can, in this place, Try-on Avatar's, attend to virtual events, go to virtual places like the SVR Chat Art Museum, or even meet with other people to have experiences together.

3:36

Virtual reality allows people to interact with the digital places that they're in in a first person mode.

3:44

It's full immersion so people are completely disconnected from the physical or real space that's around them.

3:54

On the flip side of this, augmented reality overlays digital objects onto a physical world.

4:01

It allows for light interaction to turn or place a digital object.

4:06

Most augmented reality experiences that many of you may have seen or even used yourselves already, are accessed through legacy devices like a phone or a tablet.

4:18

You might remember Ikea's experience where you can put furniture or design cabinets, and kind of place them using your phone to see what it would look like in your home.

4:29

There are headsets available for augmented reality. However, currently, most are not used widely by consumers, and augmented reality doesn't block out the physical or real-world completely.

4:41

So, it's not immersive in the same way that virtual reality is.

4:47

Mixed reality is more of a middle ground.

4:50

This augments reality similar to augmented reality. However, it provides more interaction with the digital overlays and it also provides more options for immersion.

5:01

So it's kind of the in-between of AR and VR in some ways.

5:05

Mixed reality is not widely used by consumers either, and at the moment is mostly used in industry, For example, a mechanic might wear a mixed reality headset.

5:16

For that, they may receive some digital information or images, three-d. images that could help them diagnose and solve a car malfunction.

5:25

Of course, they still have to fix the physical car, but the headset might help them gage the proper alignment that's required to solve that issue.

5:34

In the future, extended reality devices may be more combined so that people can decide which contexts they want to use, more or less immersion for.

5:47

So now we know a little bit about what extended reality is, What is metaverse.

5:52

The term Metaverse has been used in several different ways for the last several months, ever since it's exploded into mainstream media.

6:01

The idea of a Metaverse has become a vision for a new, futuristic way to market to consumers, facilitate e-commerce, or even bring physical experiences into a digitized or Digital one.

6:14

We need to remember that this is a vision for a metaverse that doesn't quite exist yet.

6:20

The idea of a Metaverse is a connected ecosystem of many digital technologies, which would work seamlessly together and provide a way for physical and digital worlds to merge and provide a blended or vigital experience.

6:37

As you can see on the right here, we have a few different aspects of what this could look like.

6:42

The idea is that you could move between each of these easily.

6:48

To paint a picture for you, let me provide you a scenario, since the metaverse would blend digital information, and give you access to that, anywhere within a physical world, to best would truly be ....

7:02

So let's imagine that, in 10 years, you have extended reality contacts.

7:08

These allow you, to connect them to your smart earbuds.

7:13

You're traveling in a new city and want to buy a sweater.

7:16

You ask your virtual assistant where you can find a clothing boutique that has cardigans available in your usual budget.

7:24

Your virtual assistant already knows your budget.

7:28

The busy street in front of you slightly goes out of focus as you refer to this and pulls up the nearest store options for you in your field of view.

7:39

You select a store that's 30 blocks away by foot, and your virtual assistant offers you different route options.

7:45

While doing so, you'll notice that your favorite taxi app is offering a deal today.

7:50

You say Taxied to activate it.

7:53

It sends a driver automatically to you as Geo located your location.

7:58

Once you get to the store, you find a sweater that you like.

8:02

You pick it up and your XR Contacts sync with Virtual menu and a Virtual Storefront.

8:08

This offers you different options to choose from.

8:11

You can try on a sweater using a virtual mirror. You can access your digitized closet to compare the sweater against what you've already owned.

8:20

And you can purchase the sweater right there right then using virtual currency, like a crypto wallet or phone pay.

8:27

Your virtual assistant notifies you of a deal.

8:30

The store is offering to add a virtual stylist to help you style the sweater with clothes that you have in your closet or help you find additional options in the store.

8:40

Once you decide to purchase the sweater, it's automatically added into your digital closet, so that you have the physical sweater, but you also have a digital version, too, that you can bring with you wherever you go.

8:54

Now, this story is simply a scenario to offer an example of how this could work if all of these components works nicely together.

9:02

We don't have a true metaverse yet. We do have, though, separate components, which may become more inter-connected over the next few years.

9:11

As we will explore, virtual reality is one of the current and consistent ways that people are engaging with extended reality now.

9:20

They use virtual reality to access virtual worlds, build and manage their identities by using avatars, socializing with others, playing games, attending events, et cetera.

9:33

This may help us understand how these experiences will extend into less immersive applications too, such as augmented reality or mixed reality.

9:44

Now, I'm going to hand it off to Jason to talk about how we have observed the adoption of VR over the last two years, and the factors that influence this evolution.

9:55

Thanks, Caitlin. So the last two years, Caitlin and I have both devoted a lot of our time to research centers on VR user experiences.

10:06

We've seen firsthand how interest in VR has evolved rapidly throughout the course of the pandemic.

10:13

We're seeing glimmers of potential or new trend in VR to activities that go beyond gaming into socializing, fitness, travel in productivity.

10:24

We began to see visual usage of VR, rather than it being a novel device.

10:31

So we hypothesize that the pandemic may have catalyzed adoption of VR, but we wanted to know exactly why consumers were using VR to socialize with others.

10:46

And so, looking at the landscape of VR, we see that in 20 21 during the 19 pandemic, demanded purchase for VR grew around the world, 78% of the 92% growth was for medical S two alone.

11:05

Other words just research has shown that online engagements have spiked during covert 90.

11:10

This includes growth in social media, video chatting, entertainment, telehealth, and more.

11:18

So, I wanted to look at the graph on the right, and what we'll see is that participating in virtual experiences, it's a familiar idea, particularly for younger adults, ages 18 to 34.

11:31

Nearly half are familiar with buying virtual costumes, clothing, and accessories for avatar's on gaming or social platforms.

11:41

Are familiar with attending vert attending events in virtual worlds for the Aimless Age group.

11:48

One third, are familiar with attending paid virtual events and buying virtual art.

11:55

So, ... has made a space for immersive social experiences, and it's kind of become the basis for metal metaverse school experiences to grow.

12:08

Just as social media and screen time, increase throughout the team, we saw that the last two years impacted, how frequently people use VR.

12:18

In addition, we noticed that people expanded their use cases to biondi, to include socializing, working, out, and traveling.

12:27

Now, what's important to note with all this is, that neural activity has actually decreased. Once they started doing it. They didn't stop.

12:34

So, we saw firsthand how people began to use VR more regularly.

12:39

And we saw the diversity of activities persist, even now that the pandemic has slowed in the US.

12:50

We started to conduct research to speak with users who bought both into VR, early on, Also, who purchased VR within the last two years, to see how it is.

13:05

These usage trends persisted And to understand how VR users view the role of VR in their day-to-day lives and routines.

13:15

So, we want to know, what drove people to buy the device And closer usage evolved over time.

13:24

What's the value, VR worlds compared to other social devices, or realize holiday sealing about the current technology that they use and current contents of the use to access the nurses experiences now?

13:42

And how do they feel, or how do they view potential for extended reality technology and medical school experiences like FT's, AR, grahams, and more now and into the future.

13:59

So, we built the research into two phases, a 10 day diary to document behaviors. And then we also had paired interviews in VR.

14:09

So we can we can uncover their perspectives and their behaviors in this complex space.

14:20

We collected a group of 36 VR users who represent a mix of the VR user base.

14:27

28% of the people that we spoke with were early adopters and purchase their headsets, three or more years ago.

14:36

11% purchased their headsets just before the pandemic, 33% of those that we spoke with, purchase their headsets within the last year, so in a row, pretty good range of individuals and times that they've used their VR headsets.

15:00

So now I'm going to go ahead and hand it off to Caitlin to share what we learned about how people value and use VR.

15:09

Thanks, Jason. So what did we learn?

15:13

As we synthesized our research, we noticed three top themes are what people wanted out of their VR experiences.

15:21

We learned how people hoped that these parts of the experience, and how the technology behind it would grow to apply beyond VR, in the future, too.

15:32

We're going to talk through each of these three themes together today.

15:39

one of our first standout experiences was using VR for socializing.

15:44

People love to use virtual reality, to socialize with others.

15:49

We noticed that they began to use VR more to socialize during the pandemic.

15:54

And they still use it more now than they did before, as a way to continue to connect with friends and family, or meet people from all over the world.

16:02

It became a tool to satisfy socializing, in part, because the pandemic made everyone stuck at home. So they needed a way to still see people that they loved, or still meet other people, and have fun.

16:15

But now, it's used when it's not convenient to leave their home. So they can stay at the comfort of their couch while still going out, having fun at events, and et cetera.

16:26

We noticed that a lot of ways that people socialize in VR was to do things, like activities with other people, side-by-side.

16:35

The sense of presence offered by VR made it fun. Because they weren't just looking at a screen to screen at somebody. They were able to feel like they were there in the room with them while they watched a movie or played a game together.

16:49

Experience, does that, allow doing activities while socializing?

16:54

Really stood out to the people we spoke with.

16:56

In fact, one of the people we spoke with mentioned that they will go to this game called Walkabout Mini Golf, so that they could not only play golf in a really interesting landscape, but so that they could meet with other people.

17:11

Sometimes, they wouldn't even play golf at all. They would simply meet in the golf game so that they could wander around the world together and catch up and hangout.

17:20

These are all things that work right now, we think we can learn about what people are asking for with these experiences and what they're looking for in these dynamic Virtual Worlds environments.

17:32

So, think about how these may apply as more and more diverse ical virtual worlds become a reality.

17:40

People are craving interesting ways to socialize remotely and feel like they're there with other people, even while in a virtual space.

17:53

Diving into socializing, a little bit more, another thing that really came out with came out from our people we spoke with was that they want personalized and custom experiences so that they can feel like they're having fun, just like they would in real life.

18:08

People wanted more ways to represent their personality by designing their avatar, or having it look similar to them.

18:17

They also wanted to have it represent, maybe their style or a TV show that they liked, so that it would help spark conversations when they're meeting new people in VR, or so that their friends and families would recognize them, that that avatar truly represents who they are.

18:32

People also wanted to customize the environment that they were in.

18:37

That way they could host people in a home environment, that they themselves created.

18:42

People wanted ways to make their virtual spaces more like a virtual home.

18:49

We even had one person share with us that they wanted to scan their DVD collection and bring it into VR.

18:56

That way, people could see it, their entire movie collection, even virtually.

19:03

People wanted to purchase things to decorate their home, kind of like in the game sense, if you've ever played that.

19:10

People wanting to do this. So they can host events and activities like movie watching parties, using movies they actually own, or hosting a game night.

19:19

They wanted also an ability at some point, to project friends or families avatars into their real home to kind of bridge that gap between virtual and physical space.

19:31

That way, they could visit with people and bring them into the comfort of their actual physical home, even if that person was far away.

19:40

We may consider other ways that we can continue to bridge virtual replicas of physical objects that people own and recognize virtual homes, and apartments, and all of that, with what's possible in a digital environment, too.

19:58

Sharing two quotes really quickly, that we thought really emphasized this interest.

20:05

one of our participants wanted this open world environment so that they could truly go around to meet people, or meet up with friends and go to other places with them, such as a virtual concert. Maybe they could play sports together, or they could show off a property that they've just made in their virtual home.

20:27

Or designing an avatar so that their avatar looks realistic.

20:30

Just like them and helps really show their interests and personality to others.

20:37

Another standout experience that we noted is that people really loved a way to use their headset to travel and to feel like they weren't constrained in their own home.

20:48

This was particularly notable during the pandemic since so many people had a stay at home order to adhere to.

20:55

And so they use their VR headset more often, to travel to new places all over the world. And to view these places, read about them or have new experiences.

21:05

Birth persisted, and people continue to do this even now.

21:10

In the future, people shared that they saw a way that they could continue to take virtual trips all around the world from the comfort of their couch.

21:19

This way, they could also practice an experience that they might want to do in real life, but don't feel comfortable to do yet.

21:27

For example, trying a skydiving NBR, rather than going out into real life, to do it right away.

21:36

We also had people who used things like YouTube VR so that they could get up close, in situations that they might not feel comfortable in, in real life.

21:45

For example, swimming with sharks where they're right next to you or jumping off of a cliff or climbing a mountain, using these different experiences and applications, like, wander, provided people a way to traveled to places that they could have traveled to at the time.

22:04

And now they think they might be a good way to almost plan a trip that they want to take in the future, such as using an app like wander, to pick out different tourist locations that they're interested in. So they can build their own customization honorary before they actually go on a trip.

22:21

Building these Extended reality experiences based on people's innate interests to conveniently travel, even learn, experiment, and explore maybe another way to continue to link virtual with physical experiences.

22:37

Best interests for simulated experiences even moved beyond travel.

22:42

People wanted ways to use virtual reality as a true testing ground, this way they could run simulations.

22:49

Simulations of new ideas before going all in.

22:53

We had folks who wanted to see what it was like to be a paramedic, before they actually went to switch their career.

23:00

We also had people who thought it would be nice to try to learn something NBR first before actually going all in to learn it in real life, perhaps scuba diving or learning how to cook.

23:13

Each of these ways helped people to see if it was something that they had fun doing, and also so that they could feel what it was like before they purchase, something like a guitar or piano.

23:26

This way, they could try out the instrument first, and try playing a few songs.

23:32

People saw ways to use this for trying on clothes as well.

23:37

If they could try on clothes or an outfit in VR, or even try new accessories, then they might be able to see how it looks on them before they actually go to get it in real life.

23:48

These kinds of experiences wouldn't necessarily be limited to a complete immersion as well.

23:55

These could be ways to lower the immersion level so that people can have a more digital experience.

24:02

one example might be seeing how a virtual pool looks like in your actual backyard, before you break ground, to actually build it.

24:15

This is really exemplified by one of our participants who shared that they were using their VR headset to conduct fitness routines throughout the pandemic and now they said that they wished that it had more AR, so it could be more like mixed reality.

24:31

They want it to become more real so that they're really there with an exercise coach and they can really feel like he's there in the room.

24:39

Giving them instructions or maybe even yelling at you, inspiring you to keep going. Keep moving on.

24:47

So with that, I'm going to pass this off to Jason to share opportunities to grow.

24:53

Caitlin.

24:54

So well there are glimmers of opportunity where people may be interested in expanding current behaviors or trying new things.

25:04

What we'd like to do is talk about their experiences and opportunities to improve in the future.

25:09

Throughout her diary and the interviews that we had, we ask people that we spoke with that, well, there might be opportunities for current VR tech platforms in virtual worlds to improve.

25:25

We also ask them to reflect on bad experiences that they've had and understand if, and how those experiences may impact their views of these technologies.

25:36

Last, we asked them about their future concerns, so we could determine up to opportunities for building preemptive design improvements to avoid these issues.

25:53

People felt less immersed, way in VR experience that they had were inconsistent or had low quality to them.

26:02

They became frustrated with slow loading times, or when virtual worlds, or platforms, glitch, or froze. It just kinda broke their experience to take them right out of that sense of immersion that they really enjoy.

26:17

And in and just deteriorate the entire experience.

26:22

People want higher resolution in VR systems, and on, on the apps, so that, so that each one looks and feels more realistic to them.

26:32

People expect that in the future, the hardware will improve over time. And that will also result in improvements in the software.

26:41

They want longer battery life so that way they can have longer times to use VR to be Metaverse and they also want to be able to carry the system with them to different places.

26:57

Leiter headsets or handsets may also reduce nephi or headaches.

27:01

People look forward to a future to future check. That is less reliance on the handsets.

27:09

And they'd love to be able to replace those handsets with haptic gloves in hand tracking.

27:17

So we have a video of two people that we spoke with that we'd like to share with you, and that will allow you to here are designers directly from them.

27:31

I think they're, as realistic as possible, like, it's as good as, like the high-end TVs can get nowadays, Like, eventually, I think that VR should be able to get to that point, as well. So, you feel like you're actually talking to the person you're talking to.

27:48

They're actually there, rather than, in the tar form.

27:54

I don't really crisp and clear, I've always thought of mm, the VR, as eventually getting to be as realistic and interesting as, like, being with somebody in the house, or looking at a four K TV.

28:15

Mean, if you kinda, Was kind of thinking something, too, along the lines of like, three-d., Feel like there's a lot of three-d. that's very realistic, in my mind. And it looks really good. Especially if they take the time to film it with a three-d. camera, so, maybe that integrate those two technologies together, too.

28:31

You know, the VR, with the three-d., so we can have, really?

28:38

Feel, OK, so like three-d. camera.

28:44

And VR.

28:58

Some additional comments included wanting to have a wider field of view, shooting vibrations, and making it easier to overall transport system realistic recreations of their home, and being able to have holograms of friends, and loved ones that they can invite into that virtual.

29:18

They want to be it, they want it to be as realistic as possible, so it can really feel as though they're talking with a real person.

29:28

And at the same time, they also want to be able to see themselves as simulations.

29:31

They want to be able to have that realistic avatar that they could share with whoever it is that they're lucky with online.

29:44

It's this way, You know, in addition to this, people wanted this, this kind of technology to develop towards a multi sensory experience that takes, takes VR in the universe from three-d. and four D levels.

29:59

People want to truly feel as though they're touching and manipulating virtual objects, just as if they were holding that object, or moving it in real life.

30:10

Um, they want to be able to do things like hug or high five someone, you know, be able to really experience it and feel it whenever they're with their loved ones.

30:22

So for example, haptic gloves or bodysuits were often talked about by people we spoke with.

30:29

Because that would allow them to have their actual movements be tracked and accurately represented by their avatars.

30:38

People liked the idea of feeling what they were picking up, and touching and feeling the weight of those objects and of what the object texture would be like.

30:50

This texture part was really something that was we heard a lot about, and so some examples include, they wouldn't be able to feel like water. They want to actually be able to touch the water, and fuel the wetness of the water.

31:03

When it comes to, like, look, would be huge or it could be rough and you want to be able to see or feel those sexual differences.

31:12

If a cat comes along, they want to be able to pet the cat and feel the fuzziness of the cat's fur and how soft it is.

31:20

Earlier, we heard an example of going shopping and picking out like a sweater.

31:25

Well, if you're going to be shopping in an environment like this, you want to be able to feel what the fabric is like before they purchase it.

31:34

And trying to learn new skills, such as learning how to play a guitar.

31:38

Well, they want to be able to feel what it's like to actually plot the streets.

31:43

So that way they can get that from tactile feedback so they really can understand and better learn how to use that guitar and how to play it.

31:53

His will also mentions wanting to have a sense of taste or smell.

31:58

And they thought that these may be ways that could add even more dimension to virtual environments.

32:07

And so what we have here in this video, you'll hear from two of the people, that we spoke with, about the importance of touch.

32:16

Why do you think, why, Why feeling? Why touch.

32:21

Yeah, like, I think touches the, very important, in terms of embracing it, because, like, say, if you play a video game right now, there's only like to, them, there's only like two mode of sight and sound. You can hear what you're playing and you can see, you can see what's on the screen, but like, if you add to it, then it would also add that Emerson going back to the education. Like, a lot of what we do is also based on muscle memory.

32:47

So, obviously, like, touch thing and feel like, know, what it feels like to touch it, or do it.

32:52

It's really important to, like, you're able to feel your, feel, what you're touching in the virtual world, then that kid that would fit advanced hardware to next level.

33:06

I say, build on what does that on the foundation?

33:10

Trend translating virtual skills you learned in the virtual world to the real world.

33:29

So, you're right there are about the importance of touch, and be able to translate what they experience in the virtual world.

33:37

So, what they might experience in the real-world.

33:41

No, not everything is online, or in VR, is enjoyable.

33:46

We heard from numerous people about their concerns for social experiences in the metaverse.

33:53

We have a particularly striking quote from one individual we spoke with that I'm sharing with you now.

33:58

Generally, online people see it as a space to do whatever they want.

34:03

They'll do things that they they will not do in real life, they're anonymous, They throw away their morals when they go online.

34:10

Sometimes, that sentiment was not unique.

34:15

We heard from several of your participants about some of the experiences that they've had.

34:22

Going back from an early stage of the internet world, that there have been times that people have gone online, and didn't just simply bad actors and have made for bad experiences for others.

34:33

I'm sure that we've all experienced internet trolls who had nothing to an online conversation other than buying.

34:39

The people we spoke with were concerned with the lack of moderation in the virtual world of apps that they've experienced so far.

34:47

As the technology develops further, people are worried that more opportunities for harassment could increase, especially since they've already experienced it.

34:58

This includes things like yelling, verbal harassment, inappropriate movements and gestures, touching or invasion of space.

35:07

For some that we spoke with, the personal space of an avatar can be just as important as the personal space in the real Lights.

35:16

So because there's already issues now in virtual environments that allow for interaction, people are concerned that these spaces could go on moderated.

35:26

Or that the platforms will not include safety measures, things like blocking or muting others.

35:33

Concerns that they experience will be overwhelmed with negativity and become a toxic environment.

35:44

We heard from those that we interviewed, that they are concerned, that as virtual experiences and virtual worlds grow, their data may be collected soul and shared without their permission, or that their data may be collected and stored in an insecure way.

36:02

So their data may end up being hacked into stolen and then used by others.

36:08

While we do see that early adopters are more relaxed around data collection privacy, this also does indicate to us that, as more of this technology moves from emerging instead of more mainstream, we're hearing the first murmurs of concerns around data privacy.

36:30

And this would be considered as the Metaverse continues to grow further.

36:35

So we heard from some of the people that we spoke with, The VR had reached the points where the price was accessible for me, but has a direct counterpoints.

36:46

They also would say that the people, that they were concerned, that, as they continue to engage, in the metaverse, the costs will rise.

36:57

And so they've become concerned that, as the metaverse grows, that there will be increased hardware costs through computer upgrades, and even VR hardware.

37:09

There will also be paywalls and subscriptions.

37:13

This also includes concerns about expenses, with pricing of apps.

37:18

And also ads, they're concerned that they're going to be guarded by ads within the virtual environments.

37:26

They're concerned that their data will also be sold.

37:30

So users want to have the ability to turn off that data collection.

37:36

And we've heard from several about how Apple and provided a single switch for turning off data collection on the i-phone.

37:44

They want to see the same thing for the Metaverse.

37:47

So they want to be able to live a second life, free from data collection.

37:57

So now, Caitlin's, going to go ahead and recap some of our key takeaways from for you.

38:05

So today, we learned and shared some of our key takeaways. And so I'm going to summarize them here, too.

38:13

And we've got six of these.

38:16

We learned that people value and naturally use virtual reality right now to explore new places to socialize with other people, and learn and symbol simulate or try new experiences.

38:29

These activities may prove helpful as starting points for the emerging, extended reality and a metaverse tech landscape.

38:38

We also learned that people want improved experiences. Especially by incorporated multi-sensory technology.

38:46

So, that's been become even more real improving hardware and software so that the quality, the quality of experiences increases too, as well as having improved comfort with lighter hardware, so they can use the technology for longer periods of time.

39:02

We also learned that safety measures and data protection will continue to be important concerns as virtual and metaphysical worlds are more adopted by the public, although this is all new technology. People are still people.

39:16

They want a certain amount of familiarity.

39:19

Ultimately, by making any virtual experiences and spaces safe and comfortable, familiar, and intuitive, the better time that people are going to have.

39:29

And the more improved perceptions they're going to have to the companies that are involved in building all of these experiences.

39:37

We thank you so much for joining us today and want to quickly say that this really only scratches the surface.

39:44

We were only able to share a few of the key takeaways that we learned throughout the course of our study, and so are so excited to share more over the next year.

39:57

So thank you, and we'll welcome questions and discussion for the remaining, all of our remaining time here today.

40:07

And we've actually already gotten your question here.

40:11

And this person says that they love this, Can this research be used to size these consumer audiences and make projections?

40:20

Today I'd say I think with this, tell us a lot about where are the users of the metaverse are right now, and what their hopes are for the future.

40:32

As well as some potential, you know, concerns to earmark as plans move forward into the development of the metaverse.

40:43

You know, you heard several of those concerns echoed by a variety of people we spoke with, as well as many of their hopes.

40:52

And so I think a lot of it is depended on the tip, the development of topology itself, you know, miniaturizing, the technology, making a lighter, maybe able to perform better, while at the same time, considering where the individuals that will be users of it, where they stand, and their concerns for having their day to be private, as well as being able to kind of have their own safety within that environment as well.

41:27

I'll only add that. I think these are really good starting grounds and things to keep in mind.

41:33

So as you're considering to build out spaces and reach audiences of those spaces, it is always good to do research if you're anticipating that they're going to be a lot of different kinds of users or different consumers in them.

41:50

However, these are really good starting points of things that you can keep track of to make sure that, as you're building something out or planning something, you can kind of preemptively plan as, as Jason was saying, to make sure that it's a high quality experience or that it's safe for the people who are going to use it.

42:21

Good. Question regarding the Avatar's themselves and why they don't have legs. So yeah, tourists.

42:31

I think, do you want to take this one?

42:35

Should I, You can go ahead and start, and I'll fill in if there's anything else.

42:39

OK, so in the videos that we shared, and you saw the avatars do not have legs, a lot of the current social experiences that are available in virtual platforms usually will not put legs as a default, and this is just because the tracking right now, mostly it's tracking ahead, and also hands. So it's a lot easier to gage where the torso is rather than the legs. However, there are a few social apps that do allow legs.

43:14

And the only thing is, it's the quality of the tracking isn't as strong since not every single headset has accessories that you can put on to track where the legs are going to be.

43:29

So sometimes, sometimes the platforms will just opt to remove the lake's entirely, so that it is a better quality experience, until like this are something that can be easily tracked without it looking funny.

43:45

I will add that we did have, some of the people that we were, that were in this study, they had actually expressed an interest in having Legge tracking, and, again, that issue of wanting to keep the price, accessable, was something that they also echoed, you know, so they want to have the leg tracking.

44:08

Millimeter hmm. But they also want to make sure that it remains affordable.

44:12

And they felt as though as soon as the price starts rising, you start getting into, you know, a thousand plus dollars for a rig And it's You know, it sounds really inaccessible for many and kind of can, in some ways, kind of chill the experience, if you will.

44:28

And so, yeah, if there's there's ways to develop the technology, make it affordable so that that leg tracking is available.

44:38

It will add so much more realism for those experiences and make them more enjoyable.

44:44

And then we can migrate away from having floating torsos to having full body avatars really take advantage of some of that technology.

44:58

Absolutely.

45:00

Actually, that reminded me.

45:04

one of the people he spoke with, actually, more than one wanted to, we mentioned earlier that they wanted to move the headset around and take it with them into different places.

45:15

Right now, a lot of the headsets are usually used at home and I am pretty secure place, but there are as people envision what the future could look like.

45:28

And as they were envisioning, oh, maybe these will be like become more AR or VR, so you could kind of swap between. They also are thinking, it would be cool if they could take their headsets with them out into other places.

45:43

So, I think it's, it would be an interesting thing to think about, how, to, like checking, or even hand tracking, might work outside of a controlled home environment, but also could work, and apply to other areas of the world.

45:59

And, where there might be interesting interactions between virtual and physical, like, maybe, if you're at a park, you could use the headset to get more information about the trees, or the plants around you, and learn more about it. Things like that.

46:19

Are there any other questions, Jason, that we should cover off on?

46:25

Nothing? Just, Yeah. Let's give it a moment, see if anybody else has any other questions.

46:54

OK, sure, do last call, OK?

46:58

Yeah, it sounds fair.

47:01

All right.

47:06

So with that, I think if you want to Maybe get one we've got oh! Go for it.

47:15

Sorry, I was sorry. Yeah, I think it's a ruby OK to wrap up.

47:22

All right. Great Alan. take it away.

47:29

Oh We just got one. I just wanted to say how fascinated I was in the yes. You did just get one mm, hmm. Oh, they want to know the cost.

47:40

Yes. That up an environment in which? to try it out?

47:46

Products or service?

47:48

So, it's A The VR headset itself.

47:55

Yeah.

47:56

Environments, the virtual environment, Like a virtual world.

48:01

Yeah.

48:03

Yeah, in terms of the VR headset itself, those are met a quest to, is a fairly inexpensive device, a buffer, a few hundred dollars, and has a, can be quite enjoyable, in terms of the actual environments themselves, prices range, a good deal.

48:23

There are some environments that you can have. Some kind of free experiences in.

48:29

For instance, CVR chat is one, which you can go into for free. Whereas others, such as spatial fees associated with them and I'm, sorry, I'll start my head.

48:41

I do not recall the price of that is, but they do have fairly moderate to modest, monthly pricing and subscriptions available for these sorts of environments, as does frame VR.

48:57

Yeah, I think, um, oh, I wanna add to that.

49:01

I think that, one, the cost is going to really depend on the kind of experience or environment that you want to build.

49:12

And that also goes for headsets as well.

49:16

So it really depends on what your needs are. So, for example, some headsets that are extremely high quality in terms of, they can connect to a robust piece of computer system.

49:31

So they have really high quality graphics and can process things nicely.

49:37

Those kinds of headsets are, can be quite expensive and can offer environments that are incredibly realistic and detailed.

49:48

So, if you're thinking like, you know, if you needed an environment that had extremely reflective, sensitive to light, so that you could show a product, as big as a car, or even showing like uh, the shine of kitchen appliance, including like being able to map movement so that you could even see how people open or turn a **** or push buttons. Like additional details like that can increase the cost of building an environment a little bit, but it all depends on where you want the money to go. So, I've seen, you know, quotes range drastically depending on what you want to use it for.

50:33

If it's something as simple as setting up a conversation, as Jason mentioned, you, there are pre-built environments that you can set up and used for like making conferences or doing presentations. And, and those can be much more affordable. But building a custom environment would be a little bit more than that.

50:55

However, that way you can really design it to suit your needs. So, those could be a few thousand or more, depending on the quality you're looking for.

51:15

Great detail, both to the questions presentation.

51:22

I just really want to thank Katelyn and Jason, and for everyone attending today, while we did get to your questions during the presentation, do please e-mail me directly with any follow up questions you will, in turn, receive a link to today's recorded presentation, so please be on the lookout for that later this week.

51:46

That now concludes today's webinar.

51:49

Have a wonderful day, everyone.

The author(s)

  • Katelyn Faulks Senior UX Researcher, US, User Experience
  • Jason Rogers Senior UX Researcher

Customer Experience