2021 Science and Technology Trigrams·Lei·Go to Metaverse to play “Peek-a-boo”

An Ivanhoé bet

The brain holes of science fiction are often embezzled into technology, but no word can be as powerful and unstoppable as “Metaverse”. After all, everyone has never heard of “the first year of the wandering earth” or “the force universe”. some type of.

From the listing of Roblox in March, to global capital and technology giants vying for the pursuit, the Metaverse, which became famous all over the world, is a well-deserved “thunder hexagram” in the science and technology hexagram of 2021.

How hot is the Metaverse? Let’s not talk about gossip such as real estate speculators and micro-business selling classes. Let’s say that PANTONE, a color research institution that has nothing to do with the pan-Internet field, will be popular in 2022 due to the rise of Metaverse and the impact of the coronavirus blockade. The color is set as “Very Peri Catharanthus Blue” because this color just represents creativity, imagination and vitality.

How can the Metaverse, dare to enjoy the same global influence as the “New Crown”?

Since it was a sudden and loud “thunder”, then in this article, let’s talk about the reasons behind the thunder and the chain reaction caused by the thunder.

Thunderously: An Ivanhoé bet

It seems that the Metaverse “emerged suddenly”, but just as the thunder came suddenly, it actually experienced a series of processes of friction, heating, expansion and vibration of two clouds behind it, and the Metaverse has also gone through a long period of brewing.

In 1992, Neil Stephenson proposed the concept of “Metaverse” in the science fiction novel “Avalanche”; in 2019, Kevin Kelly also described a digital twin in “Welcome to the Realm” Large-scale technology platform. These imaginations are in line with today’s definition of the Metaverse-a 1:1 virtual world that simulates the real world, and it is always online and perpetual.

But why does the Metaverse feel like it was born out of thin air, and has even been selected for many annual hot words and buzzwords? 

Let’s briefly sort out the timeline first.

1. Warm-up period.

In March 2021, Roblox, the “Metaverse First Share”, landed on Nasdaq, ushering in a skyrocket. Global technology companies quickly followed. In April, Epic Games raised $1 billion from investors such as Sony to create its own “Metaverse”; in May, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company is working hard to build A “corporate Metaverse”; In August, NVIDIA launched Omniverse, the world’s first Metaverse simulation and collaboration platform, and ByteDance spent huge sums of money to acquire the VR startup Pico.

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2. Expansion period.

On October 28, 2021, the American technology giant Facebook announced that it was renamed “Meta” and the stock code was changed to MVRS. Under the hype, “Metaverse” attracted attention from the outside world. In addition to the active follow-up by technology and Internet companies, Baidu released the Metaverse product “Gream”, and NetEase released two Metaverse solutions. Ubisoft announced the Ubisoft Quartz project to officially enter the Metaverse and NFT… At the same time, many traditional companies also To participate, fashion brand Balenciaga announced the creation of a “Metaverse” department that explores virtual world marketing, meat product company Shuanghui registered the “Native Universe” trademark, and Zhangjiajie Scenic Area established the Zhangjiajie Metaverse Research Center.

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(The Embassy of Yuan Cosmos of the Government of Barbados)

3. Volatility period.

Under the craze, there must be undercurrents. Chaos such as “real estate speculation groups” and micro-business classes have appeared. At the end of the year, the countries where the meta-universal industries converge started a “difficult” action that accelerates and controls chaos at the same time. In terms of policy, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, announced in November this year that it would become the first city government to join Metaverse, encouraging Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG and other companies to form a “metauniverse alliance”; Zhejiang Province, China invested 7.84 billion to build a base for Metaverse. . Regarding the “hype” that has caused heated discussion, some subjects have also continuously issued warnings in order to standardize development. On December 9, the People’s Daily issued a comment, reminding the public that Metaverse “is a gradual development process, and beware of the risk of heat to burns”.

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Since Metaverse is not a new term, why is it so popular this year? It can be summarized as three kinds of psychology.

1. Easy to fish in troubled waters.

The concept of Metaverse is grand and the trend is far away, leaving enough room for capital, media, and enterprises. To this day, the Metaverse has not yet reached a broad consensus on the exact definition. Tsinghua University’s 2021 metauniverse research report simply defines metauniverse as “massive multiplayer online games + open missions + editable world + XR entry + AI content generation + economic system + social system + avatar system + decentralized authentication system +Realistic elements” a series of technology fusion. There is no uniform standard, which means that you can explain it whatever you want.

Brokerage firms have drawn a big pie. It is predicted that by 2025, Metaverse will have about 340 to 640 billion yuan in the domestic market in social, gaming, short video, mobile office and other fields. Tagging on the Metaverse label can attract a wave of attention, as if the value has increased, so why not do it.

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2. Save the child.

With repeated global epidemics, national economic pressures, anti-monopoly review and strict privacy laws, traffic dividends peaking, and other internal and external troubles, technology giants also need to break the situation. Facebook’s name change is also related to stricter supervision and rapid decline in user reputation.

After the Metaverse concept became popular, the promising portal and supporting equipment VR and AR finally became active again after a few years of silence, ushering in a new wave of investment boom after 2014 and 2015, NOLO VR completed 20 million US dollars B In the round of financing, iQiyi Intelligence completed hundreds of millions of yuan in financing, and Feidi VR Technology completed tens of millions of financing…

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Although only OculusQuest 2 has really moved the consumer market of VR headsets, it is only attracting some game enthusiasts, and whether VR is a Metaverse entrance is still controversial (the brain-computer interface player is also waiting), at least by VR/AR that has been left out for a long time has new stories to tell, which is enough blood. Therefore, some foreign media believe that the popularization of “Metaverse” is an investment aid for some companies’ failed technologies.

3. It’s getting boring.

After the epidemic, the digital life of virtual and real integration has accelerated. People cannot move freely around the world. Many jobs and lives have to be completed in the virtual world. This makes many people begin to believe and accept that the “Metaverse” may really exist.

Zuckerberg himself also mentioned in the interview that the epidemic has proved that people can work for 8 hours in front of the computer. TV/streaming media/video games are also virtual worlds. Therefore, the immersive virtual experience provided by Metaverse is real. existing.

Maybe you would say, isn’t surfing the Internet enough? Why bother to come up with a new concept? Let’s think about it carefully. In the past two years, has the digital world constructed by the Internet become more and more materialized? Social networks have become a reflection of the real relationship network. The short video just posted may be recommended by the algorithm to your second aunt far away in your hometown; The Internet has become the infrastructure supporting the development of the physical industry, and it has begun to “turn from virtual to real”. There has been no disruptive innovation in the consumer Internet field for a long time. The top apps in the application market are almost all inventions in the last decade.

Everyone’s spiritual life in the digital world is getting boring. The large-scale virtual “playground” described by Metaverse is indeed attractive to many netizens.

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(One of the representatives of the Metaverse, “Fortress Night”)

Although the current technology level determines that the real Metaverse cannot be realized at all, it is still in the “imagination stage”; the content and details disclosed by each company are very limited. It is not a VR meeting or a virtual party, and there is no disruptive product. And the business model, but under the impetus of various people and various psychology, the Metaverse was like a thunder, which shocked countless people: “What happened?!”

Little rain: long drought is hard to come by rain

In the context of our pragmatic Chinese, everyone is looking forward to thunder. In essence, what we expect is the rain that will rain after the thunder, which will nourish the growth of various crops. “Dry thunder without rain” is somewhat derogatory.

Then, did the thunder of Yuan Cosmos bring precious spring rain? Regrettably, leaving aside the flicker, only two or three drops of light rain really landed.

On the one hand, the gradual development of existing technologies. In addition to the aforementioned VR/AR, other artificial intelligence, digital twins, blockchain, cloud computing, robotics, brain-computer interfaces, 5G, etc., which are considered to be the underlying support of the Metaverse, must adapt to the stage of industrial development. , Iteratively driven by the real needs of games, applications, industry, etc.

At the same time, many Metaverses are secondary packaging of traditional applications and services, and there is no increase in demand. For example, the so-called “medical Metaverse”, through virtual reality wearable devices and AI imaging, doctors can see the patient’s physiological structure in remote consultations, and provide pathology and treatment plans. As early as 2019, the new crown epidemic prevention work was implemented. “Marketing Metaverse”, virtual idol endorsement brand, game IP implanted marketing plan, formerly called “two-dimensional linkage” and “breaking the dimensional wall”, now it is “by Metaverse”. Not long ago, Meta, the most powerful Metaverse application, launched Horizon Worlds, where users can use half-length avatars for casual social interactions, and the experience is not good; Horizon Workrooms uses VR devices to place whiteboards on virtual desktops in meetings, which is efficient Not ideal.

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So, what can really drive the growth of all things and accelerate the arrival of the Metaverse?

1. The establishment of standards. The existing digital pillars such as communication networks, Internet technologies, storage technologies, and computing centers are not designed for the Metaverse, and it takes a long time to iterate and adapt the infrastructure. For example, transactions in Metaverse rely on blockchain and cryptocurrency, which are in dispute and supervision. The future development is still unknown.

2. The popularity of headsets. So far, VR headsets are still the key vehicle for most people to contact and imagine the Metaverse. At present, VR headsets still suffer from mismatches in supply and demand, low prices, and insufficient penetration rates. Not everyone has a VR headset, it is naturally difficult to form a large-scale ecology like desktop PCs and mobile Internet.

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(Global VR headset equipment forecast)

3. Participation of developers. The rich and colorful Metaverse experience requires a wide range of creative software and application support. At present, developers can only develop through platforms or operating systems built by VR manufacturers, and almost no support for Internet of Things, smart devices, Internet of Vehicles, etc. With collaborative interaction and synchronous development, the perfect Metaverse experience naturally does not exist.

At least for the time being, the Metaverse will face the drying up of its growth soil for a long time.

Peekaboo: The Ultimate Human Game

Of course, we are not trying to sing the Metaverse. In fact, deduced from logic, the picture depicted by the Metaverse should be the destiny of all mankind.

First of all, the fusion of virtuality and reality has begun, and human beings have begun to migrate from offline to the digital world on a large scale.

CNNIC data shows that there are already more than 1 billion Internet users in China. After the epidemic, the amount of time spent on the Internet has increased significantly, and digital life has become the norm, which means that once the virtual world of Metaverse is opened, it is easy to attract “new residents”. Imagine the scene of everyone calling friends and accompany “on the island” after “Animal Crossing Friends” became popular.

Secondly, smart technology creates idlers who do not need or cannot participate in production, and their spiritual needs are met through the virtual world.

The World Economic Forum’s “Future Work” mentioned that the streamlining of manpower caused by technology will cause the loss of 7.1 million jobs in developed countries around the world in the next five years, but 2.1 million will be created in the fields of technology, professional services and media. Job position. Under the offset of the two, there will be a net loss of 5 million jobs in the next five years, of which administrative work and white-collar workers will be the main ones.

In general, more and more people will become technological “discards”. Yuval Harari believes that in the future, there will be a huge group of people who have no jobs, no goals, and spend their time wearing VR helmets all day long. And they are just the “demographic dividend” of Metaverse. The “Oasis” game in “Ready Player One” has always been the Metaverse’s preferred analogy, and it is precisely the owner, justice, who is a low-level person who escapes from reality with the help of the game.

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Of course, don’t think this is a very tragic thing.

Liu Cixin once described a completely virtual “invisible world” in “Time Immigration”, where people can truly create everything they want. “You can create an empire with a population of hundreds of billions, where you are the king; you can experience a thousand different romantic histories, and die 100,000 times in 10,000 wars; everyone there is a world Domination is more powerful than gods. You can even create a universe for yourself. There are hundreds of millions of galaxies in the universe, and there are hundreds of millions of planets in each galaxy. Each planet is different. You desire or dare not desire. The world!” Once you have experienced that kind of life, the troubled real world is like hell.

It is mentioned in “Entertainment to Death” that in the age of television and the Internet, people are becoming more and more interested in browsing information, full of ideas without having to take any action. The world of high-speed flow and no continuity of information is a world that does not require or allow us to do anything. It is a world that is completely blocked like a peek-a-boo game. Of course, like peek-a-boo, it is also fun.

This is also the future that Metaverse may bring to us, an ultimate peek-a-boo game. If you don’t believe me, you might as well think about the number of people who like to stay at home and review Moments, short videos on their heads, and give pointers on social media, or do they invite friends out for a meal or talk about a hand-in-hand love?

Perhaps for the “primitive inhabitants of the Metaverse,” everything is unnecessary. But for you and me who have grown up from the physical world, the future is to choose to enter the virtual Metaverse and find solace in the digital world; or to open up more real spaces to ensure that people meet people as real as possible. It has never been so confusing. .

In 2021, known as the “first year of the Metaverse”, we heard rolling thunder. As the science fiction writer William Gibson said: The future is here, but it is not evenly distributed.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/2021-science-and-technology-trigrams%c2%b7lei%c2%b7go-to-metaverse-to-play-peek-a-boo/
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