Yahoo and Meta, two US companies are planning to offer virtual activities there.
Companies are betting on Hong Kong to test the metaverse. According to South China Morning Mail, web services company Yahoo will launch a series of virtual activities in the region to explore the use of immersive ad technologies. She wants to organize concerts and exhibitions with local artists on the virtual reality platform Decentraland. “We hope to use the metaverse to connect people regardless of time and physical location”explains Lorrain Cheung, audience manager at Yahoo Hong Kong.
Yahoo is also reportedly planning to launch an NFT exhibit called “The Abyss of Kwun Tong” in collaboration with local creators. It will be dedicated to this neighborhood transformed by redevelopment projects.
High interest for companies, but not for consumers
Also according to the daily, Meta – a company that has already invested heavily in the metaverse – has several projects for Hong Kong. Like Yahoo, it wants to explore the possible uses of this universe in everyday life. For this, but also to offer experiences, it would work with local partners such as coffee chains, schools and artistic institutions. Virtual reality exhibits in local cafes and open augmented reality training workshops for teachers and students would be planned. Meta would also collaborate with creators in the region whose NFT projects should be shared on Instagram.
Besides Hong Kong, many companies are launching the metaverse, especially in the United States. This concept is also being talked about in France, with Meta, which announced the future launch of an academy to train in professions in this universe. A school called Metaverse College will also open in October in the La Defense neighborhood.
If companies are excited about these virtual worlds, consumers are not. According to a recent survey of 5,698 people ages 16 and older in the United States and Europe, they don’t really understand what the metaverse is. 27% of them expect an experience similar to that of the physical world. 26% of consumers also believe it’s a virtual assistant that displays more product information and nearly a quarter believe it enables faster transactions. In addition, nearly half of respondents said experiencing realistic features, such as seeing a digital painting in their home with augmented reality glasses, is the deciding factor in making a purchase in the metaverse. This is followed by faster returns processing time and the ability to place an order in this universe for a physical product to be delivered in the real world.
With regard to France in particular, a study published in January found that most people are hesitant about it and especially don’t trust Meta to create and manage a metaverse. In addition, they are more likely to associate it with entertainment, expecting to find museums or theaters there, a digital service for which they are willing to pay.