Akshae Golekar
Guest Article

Are Indian consumers ready for the metaverse?

India will be one of the largest and fastest adopters of metaverse technology, when we finally do so, says our guest author.

Metaverse may be the hottest term in the world of business right now, after the Indian Premier League (IPL). There is considerable money being poured into this technology, with sufficient fund allocation at budgeting stages.

Setting aside all the current excitement, brands and marketers will also be a witness to the numerous challenges. Eventually, what really matters is the user experience, as it will determine whether or not we advance with this megaverse. Beyond this, most importantly, are consumers keen on integrating the technology into their daily lives?

The era of adaptation

At the moment, India is a fast-adapting country. It will definitely embrace this technology. The population is poised to become one of the fastest and largest users of this technology, when we do so.

Today, consumers need a virtual reality (VR) headset and a controller to experience the formats of events happening in the metaverse. To understand this better, one should experience this, at least with a VR headset, if not a controller.

The Indian market seems shaky at the moment, when it comes to putting its foot forward to venture into the metaverse. It is why you may think 10 times before making a purchase of the meta device. VR headsets are also prohibitively expensive in India, ranging between Rs 35,000 and Rs 50,000, but that's a completely separate issue.

VR technology allows users to step into a three-dimensional world created by the computer. While the first VR headset was created in 1968, it wasn't until the early-1990s that VR experienced its first major boom.

In recent years, the technology has evolved more than ever, resulting in a growing army of people buying these devices. Yet, only 60 per cent of the previous users understand the changing trend in the industry. No consumer would invest in a technology they are unfamiliar with.

Yes, our arrows are ready to release

Businesses may be ready, but the consumer market may rethink. In the realm of hardware and software products for the metaverse, Indian technology companies have opportunities that focus on leveraging social and business applications. The challenge comes threefold from the users:

➔ For users, the technology to be used daily, may appear costly

➔ 77 per cent of users still remain unaware

➔ Users prefer to stay connected to the traditional world out there

Indian technology companies have a vast range of options, from integrating multiple technologies to work seamlessly, from building augmented reality (AR), VR and mixed reality hardware to customising technology platforms like Azure or SAP, are working to reduce the cost to make it market-friendly.

Whereas, many marketing initiatives are running to build a serious tea conversation on the metaverse. In fact, they are the ones that are constructing the roots of awareness from where the venture can improve and see growth in the future.

Most of us have experienced GTA and PUBG, it is exactly what one would experience metaverse, minus the VR headset. Every land, including Decentraland and Sandbox, encourages users to use VR and experience the immersive technology to the fullest.

For India to reap the benefits and opportunities offered by the metaverse, a few things must be aligned. Low-cost innovations that bring the price of AR/VR hardware down, along with the current generation of glasses, like Oculus or Microsoft HoloLens, which are priced steeply for mass adoption.

Inspiring metaverse madness in India

In India, IT giants, like TCS, Infosys and Tech Mahindra, have indicated their intent to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the metaverse to provide their consumers with what they are searching for. Powered by digital and mixed realities, the metaverse will be the future of immersive user experiences and enterprise customer experiences.

While the technology is at its initial stage, there is a lot that it can offer. Hands down, it is the future.

By incorporating the metaverse into major industries, like defence, health or education projects, the Indian government can boost the economy and attract more big tech investment. Metaverse projects generate big data, which creates opportunities for Indian and global companies operating in the analytics space.

Non-fungible token (NFT) and gaming too has taken off in Web3, because of their acceptance by the community. Brands are building stores and consumer adoption is already in initial stages for the online shopping experience.

Through technological advances, companies can create virtual representations of physical spaces, from factories to offices, auditoriums to conference rooms, which soon will be affordable, accessible and available for all of us.

There is no end to the possibilities of creating specialised metaverses and adopting metaverse technologies. India will be one of the largest and fastest adopters of technology, when we finally do so.

The author is founder & CEO, Optiminastic Media.

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