Tech enthusiasts around the world know that Facebook, the most popular social networking site in the world, has rebranded its company name as ‘Meta.’
The term ‘Metaverse’ is getting echoed all over the tech world as well. Discussions and debates were raised over Metaverse and its present and future.
Is it an obvious boon for future technology, or going to fail in the coming days?
What is Metaverse?
First, let’s get some idea about the term ‘Metaverse’ and its pros and cons. The Metaverse is a hypothesized re-defined internet that supports the online 3-D Virtual environment extensively.
It’s made possible through conventional personal computing along with virtual and augmented headsets.
The features of Metaverse have already been implemented in video gamers like Second Life but in some sort of limited form.
Some repetitions of Metaverse include integration between physical and virtual spaces along with virtual economies.
At present, the current structure of Metaverse is focused on signifying the technological constraints with virtual and augmented reality devices.
The history of the term ‘metaverse’ sets back to 1992, when it originated in the science fiction novel ‘Snow Crash’. It’s the combination of the words ‘meta’ and ‘universe.’
However, it has got infamy as a buzzword for promotion as it has been known as a way to create hype for public relations goals.
There was a concern regarding user addiction and information privacy within the metaverse. These challenges have been created by the social media and video gaming industries as a whole.
Metaverse is a proposed expansion to existing technologies related to the internet. Its access points are not something extraordinary; rather, by computers and smartphones, anyone can access it.
Matters like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies are also involved in their access and usability.
Tech giants like Facebook expressed their business and commercial interest in the metaverse.
And for this purpose, they bought VR company Oculus in 2014 and announced plans to make a 3D social space that’s capable of connecting varying services.
Metaverse, primarily, depends on VR technology; so it has limitations on its development and adoption in wide-scale operations.
The limitations of Metaverse have come from the balance between cost and design, in addition to the lack of high-quality graphics and mobility. If the wireless headset to catch the VR is lightweight, it lacks image quality as it’s only optimized in a bulky, weird-looking VR goggle system.
In the case of wide adoption, another issue to keep in consideration is the cost. For example, the HTC Pro 2 headset costs $799 plus in 2021.
Metaverse and Meta
In October 2021, when Facebook announced that it was rebranding itself as Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, described happily that the Meta, his company is going to build would be a world ‘as detailed and convincing as everyone wants.’
He states that here the users can be able to do almost anything he/they can imagine. The newly transformed company also expresses plans to hire 10,000 people to work on the project.
Here $ 10 billion will be spent on Reality Labs, the division that is in charge of that very important task.
Would Facebook Become Successful in Metaverse?
But, a good number of tech specialists, in addition to general people, are in doubt that the Metaverse along with Facebook’s accord in this regard would fail. People have been talking about the Metaverse and its future.
The fact is it never really comes close to its envisioned future. Firstly, the question arises ‘why there is renewed focus?
If we let Metaverse dictate our relationships, and let it keep assets and interact with politics, then the controller of Metaverse would be something like a ‘scientific god.’
This thing makes many people uncomfortable. We are living in a capitalist society where money generates options.
The people having the most options, i.e., money, either want to be off the planet or want to create a different universe.
It seems like, if we can’t improve the world, then we would go to a different world. It sounds somewhat nihilistic and weird approach.
According to some tech experts, Facebook’s Metaverse is dead on arrival. People think of sight as the entry point into a Metaverse to make around these AR or VR experiences.
Mark Zuckerberg says that you can join your friend at a great concert in a remote part of the world. But, the matter is, if anyone gets a text message from his/her friend while he’s at the mall, movie, or school.
Then, is it possible to pull out the handy Oculus, fit it on the head, and start jamming? It doesn’t make sense to many tech people. Oculus is not wearable, and in fact, is prophylactic.
It’s not possible to get mass adoption with a thing that is hassle-inducing and has a negative self-expressive vibe.
Right at this moment, in this case, sound is more effective than sight. The selling volume of Oculus is 2 to 3 million units a year, whereas Apple sold 110 million AirPods last year.
People are used to wearing these gadgets, even when they are not even using these. Hence, someone in a concert in Berlin can say to his friend in the USA, “Hey, I’m in a concert in Berlin, listen to this,” and his friend can listen wherever he is then.
Furthermore, some kind of smart camera can be installed on AirPods. It can make the users able to see whatever someone else is watching on their AirPods. As a result, Apple is the owner of the on-ramp to AR.
This app Store is the closest thing to Metaverse at this moment. Despite being heavy and old-fashioned, all of the apps work on one system. Therefore, it’s somewhat exchangeable, and your phone is the only interface here.
Because of the lack of control in the end distribution, Facebook is vulnerable in terms of maintaining privacy.
Maybe Mark Zuckerberg spends huge money on lobbying or the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is of very charming personality, every FB user running iOS has the chance to opt out of being tracked by Facebook.
LVMH and Apple have added more shareholder value than almost any other company in the world so that they both don’t hand over their brands to third entities like Facebook does to Macy’s or CompUSA.
Besides, Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg are not great innovators. Their only invented core product is Facebook.
However, they are outstanding acquirers. For a while, Zuckerberg has been talking about transforming facebook into a Metaverse company.
This is their only big opportunity to survive in fiercely competitive and complex tech markets since their records of acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp are still good.
The Sound of Hope for Metaverse
The sound of hope is also expanding through the air. In December 2021, a report has been published on ‘Bloomberg Intelligence’ marking The Metevarse as “The Next Big Technology Platform,” which usher $ 800 billion market opportunity by 2024.
It’s merely a half-a-trillion-dollar opportunity today.
Most of this money is to be made by video game makers like Roblox. The lion’s share of this money would come from hardware and software sales.
This video gaming aspect, as of now, is not making the future of Metaverse a nonsense one.
Keeping the fact of the already existing market of a quarter trillion of gaming products, Meta will aggregate incremental dollars by expanding from video games into other stuff to reign in the virtual world.
But, many tech analysts predict that The Metaverse won’t bring out the expected fruition.
There are certain reasons behind it. One reason is that dominant company like Meta along with Amazon and Alphabet have a limited ability in developing consumer products.
Amazon’s device named Echo has sold a lot of units, but also alienated a huge number of people. Unlike the iPhone, it has failed to create a customer phenomenon.
Most companies, including Amazon and Meta, have not become successful in developing truly popular devices on a mass scale.
Amazon’s smartphone ‘Fire’ has totally failed as a brand, which is a classic example of it.
Whether Metaverse is really a fantastic idea or not, debates and discussions are going on regarding its future.
To make a final forecast regarding Metaverse would be too early now. Only time will say, it’s going to be successful or not.