Derived from a ’90s cyberpunk novel, the metaverse became the lifeblood of tech industry discourse.
This year, the metaverse has been the poster word for most tech and crypto websites. Technology analysts are theorizing the next iteration of the internet, an idea where users can interact and live many lives in a non-physical world (with avatars). Dating back to a dystopian novel from the early ’90s, this abstract term has become a hot topic of tech industry discourse thanks to major corporate moves, including the Facebook rebranding and Roblox’s initial public offering.
Of course, every frontier in technology offers opportunities to advance humanity and ultimately make lives easier. But, on the other hand, solutions must be critically scrutinized, and from the investor’s point of view, it is the expectation that matters, and this piece takes a brief look at the potential outlook for the metaverse in 2022.
What is the metaverse?
Defining the metadata store is rather complicated as it doesn’t exist yet. In attempts to narrow things down, people tend to combine the metaverse with existing immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). VR glasses have been with us for a while, and of course we love the Oculus Quest 2, now called Oculus Quest 2. Meta Quest 2, Meanwhile. AR (of Snapchat’s dogs and Niantic’s Pokémon Go) has also taken off, and we’re seeing more utility with MR. These technologies expand reality by putting users in a digital environment with applications in a multitude of fields.
While the metastore will likely interact with these technologies, analysts believe the metastore will offer much more, with internet-enabled real-time 3D software and applications. Users will interact, play games, acquire land and property, and trade in shared virtual worlds using avatars. Moreover, the metadata store will be accessed from all devices and is location independent. As a result, anyone with an internet-connected device will be able to live a virtual life without any hassle.
Race to the Metaverse in 2022: Developments and Investments
As with any new frontier, there is usually a lot of buzz in the air. The Metaverse is at the heart of the hype cycle right now, as evidenced by the investments and acquisition of human talents.
Investments are key to the growth of any industry, and we’re already seeing some groundwork in acquisitions and funding. For example, Microsoft recently bought game company Activision in a $68.7 billion deal. The purchase gives them the IP rights to major games, including Minecraft and Call of Duty. Grand Theft Automakers also recently announced that they have acquired FarmVille producer Zynga in a $13 billion deal. Key VCs also recognize potentials. SoftBank, for example, recently invested up to $150 million in a South Korean metaverse company.
Big tech like Meta and Microsoft are working overtime to get ahead of the curve and get the first mover advantage. Alongside Facebook’s complete rebranding as The Meta Inc, chipmaker Nvidia has also launched Omniverse, a metaverse project that allows creators to simulate projects on an online platform. One of the participants is the automobile company BMW. Crypto-native projects like Axie Infinity and The Sandbox are also drawing attention to metaverse dominance as they continue to offer more features in their virtual worlds.
It’s clear now that more and more people are seeing metadata as the next evolution of the internet; this will likely drive a much larger shift in human interaction and behavior than the dot-com web.
Takeaway: Metaverse in 2022
The meta-universe is an incredibly broad idea, and given the vast infrastructure required, it probably won’t progress fast enough for believers. However, as current developments advance rapidly and more tech giants (crypto or not) join to turn this transformational shift in our digital lives, it is reasonable to expect more news about acquisitions and major developments in 2022.
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