VR headset hardware is arguably in its early days. Inflation and future economic concerns for consumers will undoubtedly delay adoption of headset purchases a little longer than many investors are hoping. Meta has revised monthly active user targets down from 500,000 by the end of 2022 to 280,000, and many Meta Horizon Worlds users are currently stopping usage of the app after the first month. The trends suggest that the experiences are neither holding users’ attention nor dazzling early adopters enough to promote others to join them online.
After economic headwinds subside, could the metaverse satisfy our cognitive need to be untethered from physical constraints and our emotional need to experience a greater level of authenticity in our business and social relationships? What can multiple people working together virtually do that outweighs the cognitive disadvantages of being relatively stationary and represented virtually as an avatar?