Meta continues to believe in the future of Metaverse. According to the Californian giant, the emergence of virtual and augmented reality worlds is comparable to the smartphone revolution. To convince users, however, metaverses may face a major obstacle, admits Meta.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Chris Cox, Meta’s chief product officer, spoke about the evolution of the metaverse, reports Business Insider. According to the framework, Meta has developed a wide range of virtual reality products over the past eight years.
These devices are intended as accessible and affordable as possible for users, says Chris Cox. The Quest 2 headset, released in 2020, has established itself as the best-selling VR headset in the world. On the strength of this success, Meta took the liberty of revise the price of the helmet upwards last summer, going from 349 euros to 449 euros.
This offer of VR accessories has not yet allowed the metaverse to take off. According to CCS Insight, sales of virtual and augmented reality headsets even collapsed last year. Likewise, Horizon Worldsthe metaverse developed by Meta, is not failed to attract as many users as expected. With its simplistic graphics, it even arouses the mockery of Internet users.
Metaverse and smartphone, an improbable comparison?
Despite the lack of love displayed by the general public, Chris Cox remains confident. Mirroring Mark Zuckerberg, he predicts a bright future for the metaverse. The manager does not hesitate to compare the rise of the metaverse to the advent of the smartphoneinitiated by Apple with the iPhone in 2007:
“One day, this computing platform will be as important as the smartphone has become in our lifetime”.
According to Statisticsmore than 6.500 billion people in the world have a smartphone, i.e. 83% of the population. By comparison, only 74 million people currently have access to a virtual reality headset, the German portal notes:
“While the global user base of VR/AR equipment is set to double in the next two years, Statista analysts estimate it will remain below 250 million people by 2027, a small fraction of humanity “.
Before becoming as essential as the smartphone has become, the metaverse still has room. Like Statista, CCS Insight analysts believe that augmented reality glasses, expected to flood the market from 2024, will stimulate the entire industry and attract more consumers. Ultimately, the great boom of the metaverse could wait for the next decade…
Metaverse’s Biggest Challenge
In Davos, Meta’s chief product officer also spoke about the biggest challenge for companies involved in metaverses. According to him, it is interoperability. In concrete terms, the different digital worlds must be able to work together, like the different services available on the Internet. As Cox points out, it’s very easy to switch from an app like Instagram to Google Maps.
“I think the internet is a really good way to imagine the metaverse, because parts of the internet are very functional with each other,” says Chris Cox.
To meet the challenge of interoperability, Meta has joined the Metaverse Standards Forum. This business coalition aims to develop the standards that will govern the future of the metaverse. These standards should allow brands to develop platforms capable of operating in osmosis.
For example, users must be able to use a digital object purchased in a metaverse within another space in virtual reality. With this in mind, Meta will rely on blockchain and NFTs. Thanks to the blockchain, all digital elements (clothes, avatars, locations, vehicles, etc.) can be transferred from one platform to another. In Meta’s dream metaverse, absolutely everything will be available as an NFT. To hold these digital assets, you will have to go through Meta Pay, Meta’s digital wallet.
A long-term bet
To bring the metaverse to life, Meta has pumped over $20 billion into Reality Labs, the division devoted to mixed reality, in the space of two years. Despite these huge investments, the division continues to lose moneyand cut back on the company’s reserves.
The financial situation of the metaverse branch is not about to improve. According to Mark Zuckerberg, the division will continue to lose money in 2023. Confident, the billionaire nevertheless ensures that the investments made will eventually pay off… when the general public finally takes an interest in the metaverse.
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Meta compares the metaverse to the smartphone revolution
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