Less than half the Australian population (44 percent) are familiar with the metaverse, while only 36 percent express positive feelings about engaging with extended reality in daily life, a new global survey conducted by Ipsos for the World Economic Forum finds.
Globally, about half of adults across 29 countries say they are familiar with the metaverse (52%) and 50% have positive feelings about engaging with it.
Key Australian findings include:
- 80 percent of Australians claim familiarity with virtual reality, while half (51 percent) say they are familiar with augmented reality
- Across the metaverse, virtual reality, and augmented reality there is a consistent trend of
decreasing familiarity with age (although the difference across ages is least for virtual
reality), but familiarity increases with household income and education levels
- Interestingly, males hold far more positive feelings towards extended reality than females
(42 percent vs 29 percent very/somewhat positive)
- As with familiarity, positive feelings towards extended reality decrease with age but
increases with income and education
- Australia is in line with or slightly lower than the 29 country average in terms of our positivity
towards each of the metaverse’s applications mentioned in the survey
- Australians surveyed were most likely to think meteversae applications can significantly
impact virtual learning (65%), digital health resources (61%) and digital entertainment in
virtual reality (60%) over the next ten years
Ipsos Australia director, David Elliott, said: “The findings from this latest global survey show that
Australia is well behind a lot of countries around the globe in terms of our familiarity with extended
reality and our feelings towards it. What we know from other research is that as familiarity improves
so too does the potential for trust and positivity. As we hear more about these technologies and
learn more about them, it is likely we will become more positive about them and their potential to
hopefully have a real impact on our lives.”
Globally, the survey points to wide differences in familiarity and favourability toward these new
technologies across countries and demographic groups.
Excitement about extended reality is significantly higher in emerging countries than it is in most high income countries. In China, India, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and Colombia, more than two-thirds say they have positive feelings about the possibility of engaging with it. However, it is the case of fewer than one-third in Japan, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada, France, and Germany.
Levels of familiarity with virtual reality, augmented reality, and the metaverse show a similar pattern. More than two-thirds in Turkey, India, China, and South Korea report being at least somewhat familiar with the metaverse, compared to fewer than one-third in Poland, France, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Familiarity and favourability towards the new technologies are also significantly higher among younger adults, those with a higher level of education, and men than they are among older adults, those without a university-level education, and women.
Despite significant differences in familiarity and enthusiasm, the global public widely expects that various types of metaverse apps using XR will significantly change people’s lives over the next decade – most of all virtual learning (for a 29-country average of 66%), digital entertainment in virtual reality, and virtual work settings.
Expectations about the impact of metaverse apps also vary by country and by demographic characteristics, following the same pattern as favourability toward extended reality. However, differences are not as sharp, suggesting that, whether they look forward to it or not, most people expect their lives to be profoundly impacted by the new technologies in the coming years.
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