Study by TBWA and UNIL: what Switzerland thinks about new technologies

A study conducted by TBWA\Switzerland in collaboration with the University of Lausanne in February 2023 examined how the Swiss population perceives and uses new technologies such as the metaverse, AI, cryptocurrencies, virtual and augmented reality. Although mixed feelings prevail, the results show that there is no fear and potentials are recognized.

The "Metaverse Barometer Switzerland 2023" is intended to generate insights into the perception and use of the Metaverse and the attitude of the Swiss population toward new technologies. The study aims to gain early insights into these developments and to identify opportunities. After all, the advent of the metaverse and associated technologies will not only open up new creative opportunities, but will also evolve and change the behavior of individuals and consumers. 426 people living in Switzerland took part in an online survey.

Half are interested in the metaverse

According to the study, only a few people in Switzerland are familiar with the concept of the Metaverse. Those who are already familiar with it show a greater affinity for the technology, have already used the Metaverse more often and are mostly male. In terms of the European average, Switzerland is in the middle of the field, but lags significantly behind the leading countries worldwide.

"However, the situation is quite different for the group of people who are enthusiastic about new technologies and pick them up at an above-average rate," says Tobias Schlager, study leader and professor of marketing at the University of Lausanne and head of the Consumer Technology Research Lab. "Early adopters are 85 percent convinced that the Metaverse is the future. 80 percent think it will replace most physical interactions. They're optimistic and excited about it."

Metaverse for further education, leisure and entertainment

74 percent of Swiss citizens have already heard of the Metaverse, but only 11 percent are familiar with it. At 48 percent, however, just under one in two is curious about the new virtual world. Lukas Diem, Strategy Director and Member of the Executive Board of TBWA\Zurich, cites the following as the most important reasons for future use: "76 percent of the Swiss want to use the Metaverse in the future for further education, 69 percent for leisure and entertainment, 67 percent for virtual travel and cultural experiences. For companies concerned, this means that their presence on the Metaverse will make sense in the future."

Further, the survey shows that 48 percent are curious about using the Metaverse and 35 percent are apprehensive at the thought of it. The biggest current concerns include: Privacy risks, a disconnect from real life, cyber bullying, potential costs and environmental impact.

Hesitant optimism toward new technologies

Although new technologies are always accompanied by concerns, the Swiss population is basically positive about them. Swiss people are willing to try out virtual reality VR and are clearly positive about augmented reality AR, even if they still do not recognize the technology enough in everyday life. With regard to artificial intelligence AI, there is also a mixed combination of concern and positive expectations that AI will handle most simple tasks in the future.

Despite the mixed feelings, the potential seems to be recognized in many cases. "With the metaverse and associated technologies, we will not only be confronted with new and exciting creative tools, but our behavior as consumers:inside will also evolve and change," says Lukas Diem, of TBWA in Zurich. This development in the Swiss population offers opportunities and should encourage companies and brands to increasingly engage with new technologies.

The study results at a glance


Few Swiss are well acquainted with the concept of Metaverse. Those who are already more familiar with it are more tech-savvy, have already used the Metaverse (more often) and are predominantly male. 42 percent of respondents say they are at least somewhat familiar with the Metaverse. The remaining 58 percent still seem to be unfamiliar with it. A quarter (26 percent) even say they have never heard of the Metaverse. This puts Switzerland in line with the European average, but well behind the international leaders. 

Artificial intelligence

The majority believe that AI will do most simple tasks, but the feelings associated with it are mixed: Swiss:ins are curious but also concerned, are optimistic and fearful at the same time. The rapid developments in the application of AI raise questions about boundaries and control, which also raises data protection, privacy and security concerns. Nevertheless, Swiss:ins intend to use the technology more frequently in the future.


Although awareness of cryptocurrencies is relatively high and the technology has the largest share (7 percent) of daily users, more than half of Swiss people have never used the payment method. As far as future use is concerned, only a weak increase is to be expected in Switzerland. Most Swiss have heard of cryptocurrencies, but they have ambivalent feelings about them. The most common feeling (32 percent) about crypto is apprehension. In general, expectations of the technology seem to be restrained.

Virtual Reality

The study results show that the Swiss population is open to virtual reality and that neither attitudinal nor emotional barriers stand in the way of mass acceptance. This is good news for companies that want to use the technology, because Swiss consumers do not have any negative preconceived ideas about it that they might associate with a brand.

Augmented reality

Surprisingly, Swiss respondents say they do not know or fully understand AR, even though the technology has been a part of daily life for several years. However, the attitude toward AR is clearly positive.

Interested parties can here download a management summary or order the entire study.

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