The vast majority of American adults are ready to move beyond gaming experiences in the metaverse and see value in immersive interactions, such as socialising with friends and family (78%), and on-the-job training (76%), according to a new survey from KPMG. Further, 59% of U.S. adults report they expect the metaverse to have a significant impact on their lives in the next 12 months with an additional 48% reporting a significant impact in next 5 years.
“While it may still be early days, US adults are increasingly adapting to creating real-life experiences across the ‘phygital’ world,” said Cliff Justice, US leader of Enterprise Innovation, KPMG. “With each interaction, people are becoming more accustomed to engaging in everyday activities in the metaverse. From banking and telemedicine to learning and working, the medium we use to communicate and interact is perpetually shifting towards virtual.”
The metaverse has the potential to revolutionise the way businesses and consumers engage, transact, socialise and work. Of those participating in the metaverse, 92% of respondents say it enhances learning opportunities, including job training, school, and higher education while 86% report the metaverse provides opportunities for entrepreneurship, including marketing and selling.
Regardless of whether consumers are engaging in the metaverse, a majority of US adults are interested in virtual experiences. Beyond socialisation, telemedicine (72%), virtual shopping apps (67%), virtual work (65%) and starting a business (51%) rank the highest.
Path to adoption
The path to broad adoption is growing at a steady clip, but existing skepticism may create hurdles along the way. Privacy (80%) and protecting personal information (79%) were the most significant concerns, according to the survey. In the same vein, feeling secure about privacy and security of personal information were the most important factors to encourage participation.
Increasing access to affordable technology and customisable avatars are also the most cited ways to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the metaverse, 38% and 36% respectively. Nearly a third (30%) of respondents say ensuring that metaverse environments are accessible to those with disabilities should be the priority across this category.
“With the companies and people still understanding the potential scope and scale of the metaverse’s impact, we must prioritise inclusive, safe and secure practices to protect users and ensure experiences are adaptable,” continued Justice. “The recalcitrance to innovation is low and this is time to embed these priorities across technologies as they continue to evolve.”
As part of its strategic innovation roadmap, KPMG in the US recently partnered with KPMG in Canada to launch its metaverse collaboration hub where employees, clients and communities can connect, engage and explore opportunities for growth across industries and sectors. The firm has formed a dedicated team to help clients develop and execute their own metaverse strategies.
Photo by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash.