Canadians have some of the highest level of digital engagement on planet Earth.
At least 97% of the population use the internet, data shows, with 90% of internet users owning a smartphone and 80% owning a laptop or desktop computer. Canadians possess a high level of interest in smart technology, ranking third in the world for smart home device ownership, after the UK and Ireland.
Yet this adoption fervour among Canadians does not seem to extend to metaverse technologies. An Ipsos survey found that while three-quarters of Canadians may be familiar with the concept of virtual reality technology, barely one-third have heard of the metaverse.
However, there is much potential to be realized for our tech-savvy population, a new report suggests. The metaverse remains niche and underdeveloped but many still anticipate a sizeable future for the emerging technology, including within Canada.
A recent report from Deloitte forecasts that by 2023, the metaverse will contribute up to $85 billion toward Canada’s output.
The report notes that uptake and impact of the metaverse may vary across Canada, with some regions at the “forefront” of its development, such as Vancouver (where Deloitte recently unveiled the Summit, its state-of-the-art regional headquarters).
“British Columbia is a global hub for immersive tech, with more than 260 companies using AR and VR for entertainment, education, healthcare, and more,” the report states, adding that Vancouver is “one of the world’s leading regions for the development of AR and VR technologies.”
Contributing about 13% to Canada’s GDP, the region of BC accounts for more than one-third of the country’s AR and VR revenue activity, Deloitte data shows—punching nearly thrice above its weight in relative terms.
“Published estimates of its contribution to GDP have varied widely, but most of them predict that the economic impact could be substantial,” the report reads. “Research into the impact of the metaverse suggests that if innovation and adoption trends continue at their current pace the opportunity for Canada could be significant.”
The report suggests myriad use cases for metaverse technology, including upskilling, improving workflows, enhancing communications, and experiencing novel entertainment.
“Although metaverse technologies are still at an early stage of development, the promise is significant, and Canada is well placed to benefit from them,” states the report, which was commissioned by Facebook and Instagram parent Meta. “Canada … has a burgeoning technology startup scene, a rich supply of talent, and several enterprises already demonstrating the potential of innovative and metaverse‐enabling technologies.”
Check out some Vancouver startups pioneering the metaverse today.
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