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In the last few weeks, many people have asked me the same question: Is the metaverse dead? This pessimism isn’t surprising given that Meta stock has lost more than half of its value since the official announcement of its strategic move to the Metaverse. To add insult to injury, Meta announced last week significant redundancies across the company, fueling anxiety across the industry.
While I’m doing my best to be objective, I view Meta’s current troubles as a reflection of its old business rather than an indication that its Metaverse strategy is failing. I think it’s going to be another year or two before we can really predict whether or not Meta will be successful in this space other large player will emerge as the true leaders of the metaverse.
My greater concern is that the general public is still confused as to what “the metaverse“is and how it will benefit society. One would think this would be clear by now, but even simple definitions of the metaverse are hard to come by. Personally, I blame the influencers Web3 Space to create confusion and describe the metaverse in relation to blockchains, cryptocurrencies and NFTs. These are extremely useful technologies, but no more relevant to the metaverse than 5G, GPS, or GPUs.
The metaverse is not over certain parts of the infrastructure.
The Metaverse is not about NFTs
I point this out based on an experience I had at the Metaverse Summit in San Jose two weeks ago. During the event, I took part in a roundtable on the topic “metaverse marketing.” Executives from many major brands were in attendance. To my surprise, no one talked about topics that I would consider relevant Marketing in The metaverse. Instead, they mostly talked about NFTs and strategies to target “Web3 natives” and “degens”. This isn’t the metaverse. If the industry doesn’t address this ongoing confusion, it will continue to struggle.
Repeat after me: The Metaverse is not about NFTs.
Instead of this, The metaverse is about changing the way we humans experience the digital world. Since the dawn of computing, digital content has been accessed primarily through flat media viewed in the third person. In the Metaverse, our digital lives will increasingly include immersive media that appear all around us and are experienced in the first person. It will impact everything from the way we work, shop and learn online to the way we socialize and organize ourselves. It is really that easy –The Metaverse is the transition of the digital world from flat content to immersive experiences– and believe me, it’s not dead.
If anything, the metaverse is inevitable.
Born like this
Why is the metaverse inevitable? It’s in our DNA. The human organism evolved to understand our world through first-person experiences in spatial environments. This is how we interact and explore. This is how we store memories and build mental models. In this way we generate wisdom and develop intuition. In other words, the Metaverse is about harnessing our natural human abilities to perceive, interact and explore as we harness the creative power and flexibility of digital content. It will happen. The only question is: will it happen soon, or will the industry fall into another long, dark winter?
I personally don’t think winter is coming.
I say that as someone who has experienced the longest winter of all. Thereafter early VR And AR research In government labs, I founded Immersion Corporation in 1993 to bring the natural power of immersive experiences to large markets. By 1995 the industry was in flames, with levels of media hype that felt similar to early 2022. But then came the dot-com bust. It sucked all virtual air out of all virtual spaces. That’s because the VC industry abruptly narrowed its focus and poured every penny into e-commerce startups. For over a decade, most investors couldn’t put the word “virtual reality” in their mouths. This sank the metaverse in a cold winter That lasted from about 1997 to 2012.
That won’t happen this time.
The industry has progressed too far. The Metaverse is no longer driven by startups and fueled by venture capital. Many of the largest companies in the world are now competitive Bringing VR and AR products to the mainstream market. Some say this will evolve into a narrow industry geared toward gaming, entertainment, and a handful of other target industries, but I believe that will be the case far wider than The. In fact, I expect the metaverse to become a central part of everyday life by the early 2030s.
No, I’m not suggesting that we live our lives in cartoonish virtual worlds and use creepy avatars to chat with friends and co-workers. Virtual spaces become much more natural and realistic. Still, I believe that purely virtual worlds will be mostly geared toward short-term activities, much like we get lost in movies today. The true metaverse – the one that will change our lives – will be rooted in augmented realityso we can experience the real world embellished with immersive virtual content that appears all around us. This is by far the most natural way for us humans to bring the digital world into our lives. For this simple reason, the metaverse is inevitable.
dr Louis Rosenberg is an early pioneer of virtual and augmented reality. In 1992 he developed the first working augmented reality system for the Air Force Research Laboratory. In 1993 he founded the early VR company Immersion Corporation. In 2004 he founded the early AR company Outland Research. He has received over 300 patents for VR, AR and AI technologies and published over 100 scientific papers. He received his PhD from Stanford and was a professor at California State University. He is currently CEO of Unanimous AI, Chief Scientist of the Responsible Metaverse Alliance (RMA) and Global Technology Advisor of the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI).
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