Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft compete with Facebook to bet on the Metaverse competition and challenge analysis
1. Facebook boldly bets on the digital world, strategically deploys billions of dollars
CEO Mark Zuckerberg set an ambitious new goal for Facebook: to build a “next generation Internet.”
On July 29, Eastern Time, after the release of Facebook’s quarterly earnings data, the company’s chief financial officer took the time to interpret Facebook’s financial situation, while CEO Mark Zuckerberg focused on the company’s future goals. In particular, he pointed out his ambition to transform Facebook into a “metaverse” (Metaverse below) company.
In the weekend before this, Zuckerberg said in an interview with the media, “In the next few years, it is expected that people will transform Facebook from a social media company to a Metaverse company.”
According to the latest information, the company has begun to form a related product team. The head of the team is the former Instagram product executive Vishal Shah, while Vivek Sharma from the Facebook game team will be in charge of the “Horizon” team. At the same time, the former Oculus executive Jason Rubin also Will return from the game team and be responsible for the content team of Metaverse.
At present, MetaVerse AI team members are from Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Harvard, Stanford, Duke University, etc. They have also participated in the construction of Facebook Social VR, Oculus Avatar, AR Games and other tens of millions of user products.
Metaverse is still ambiguous, but at least it is a super experience experience with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. In addition to Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft (Macrosoft) and many other international giants are also currently developing VR/AR related technologies and services.
Facebook said that with the increasingly fierce competition for the next computing platform, the company will invest billions of dollars in broader virtual reality and augmented reality every year. This is Facebook’s bold bet on the future digital world.
2. Facebook’s VR and AR technology, products, and personnel armament competition
According to statistics, Facebook invests one-fifth of the company’s manpower in the AR/VR business. From 2014 to the beginning of last year, Facebook has invested nearly $5 billion in VR.
As of now, according to the latest report from the Financial Times, Facebook currently has more than 10,000 employees worldwide engaged in various projects in the field of virtual augmented reality.
- In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion, and the latter’s virtual reality headset reignited people’s expectations for the future of VR.
- In 2017, Zuckerberg expressed the company’s ambitious 10-year game technology goals in the sharing of “Facebook Roadmap for the Next 10 Years”, including artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality. (AR) and new connected products. At that time, Zuckerberg also stated that Facebook would invest another US$3 billion in 10 years in an effort to bring VR to hundreds of millions of users.
- In December 2020, with the continuous improvement of 5G, chips and other technologies, the experience of VR/AR head-mounted display equipment is getting better and better, and the shipment volume is also rising. Facebook launched the Quest 2 helmet with a selling price of $299, leading the sales. The advantage is that it is not only cheaper, but also more concise.
At that time, Chris Pruett, head of the Oculus content ecosystem, said that the development of virtual reality content was still in the early stages, and a common language was being formed around this platform.
As of press time, Facebook’s VR and AR products include: 1) AR glasses, which is expected to launch the first version of its smart glasses later this year, which will cover objects and information in the real world; 2) Facebook has also developed a This wristband allows the wearer to interact with the real world through subtle finger movements. In addition, 3) its virtual reality social network application Horizon has been developed for two years, but it has not yet been opened to external users.
Zuckerberg said that he believes that AR systems will be ubiquitous in the next ten years.
Facebook hasn’t had a clear qualitative description of what the future Metaverse will look like, but in the earnings call, Zuckerberg described Metaverse as a space where people can hang out together, send work messages, play games and even dance.
“You can imagine the metaverse as a concrete Internet, where you are not just watching the content, but being in it. You feel like staying with other people and getting a different experience.”
He also expressed that advertising and commerce may be a meaningful part of Metaverse. In addition, he also made it clear that he intends to monetize opportunities in the virtual world.
3. Competition from technology giants and game companies
Metaverse has a strong combination with VR and AR, and the concept of VR and Metaverse has been applied more and more widely, and it has gained more and more attention and sought after in games and capital circles. In terms of the scale of investment and financing, the scale of VR/AR investment and financing reached 24.4 billion yuan in 2020, and a total of 219 investment and financing mergers and acquisitions occurred, showing an increase for three consecutive years.
In its latest report (July 31, 2021), Orbis Research expects that by 2026, the major industry players in the global augmented and virtual reality (AR&VR) market: Microsoft, Google, Eon Reality, Aero Glass, Upskill, etc.
The competition on this track has always been fierce.
- As early as 2012, Google launched the AR glasses product of Google Glass. After that, Oculus was acquired by Facebook for US$2 billion and launched a VR headset. After Microsoft entered the VR/AR market, many major manufacturers including Sony, Samsung, and HTC began to launch related hardware products.
- In 2016, the VR/AR market reached a high point. At present, Google’s VR layout focuses on software and services, such as Youtube VR.
- The 2020 epidemic promotes home demand, and the demand for VR products represented by Facebook Oculus has grown strongly. Oculus Quest2 sold 1.1 million units in just over two months after its release in October 2020, ranking first in the global VR market. Throne.
- Microsoft has also made great progress in VR and AR: its flight simulation VR version is about to start testing; the Tokyo Olympics can use the AR device Microsoft HoloLens 2 to watch swimming competitions; in May, Microsoft declared a patent related to the VR border protection system; In March of this year, Microsoft directly won a large contract worth US$21.9 billion for the US military and will provide 120,000 HoloLens AR helmets for the US military.
As above, we have seen that Facebook is facing fierce competition, because Google, HTC, Microsoft and other companies are also running in the forefront of the track, especially the competition from the smartphone manufacturer Apple.
In April 2021, Apple CEO Cook accepted an interview with The New York Times. He stated that AR is a vital part of Apple’s future. In May 2021, Apple acquired virtual reality company NextVR for $100 million to enhance its VR capabilities in entertainment and sports. Up to now, Apple has more than 330 publicly available VR/AR key patents and 18 VR/AR related mergers and acquisitions. It is rumored that Apple will also launch virtual reality headsets as early as 2021.
Facebook also recently had a “conflict” with Apple, after the iPhone maker Apple modified its operating system, which restricted Facebook’s ability to collect user-targeted advertising data. In an interview with foreign media this week, Zuckerberg hinted that this kind of competition is his driving force to strengthen the Metaverse strategy.
Of course, there are many voices on the market. Metaverse is not just VR and AR. Metaverse is a revolutionary product in which users can create and interact freely, creating unlimited possibilities. In this space, there will be a need for many providers and engines of underlying technologies, including technical support and content for various gameplay. These companies also have many unlimited possibilities.
For example, the most popular video games in the world, such as Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox, have become the early leaders in building immersive virtual worlds. These are also the competition or cooperation objects that Facebook Metaverse will face.
- Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, the company behind gaming rival Fortnite, described Metaverse as “a phenomenon beyond gaming.” Epic has been steadily adding social networking features to Fortnite and acquiring small startups such as 3D modeling company Sketchfab to build its game technology virtual engine, which can provide a graphics foundation for other virtual worlds.
- Roblox seems to be the clearest manifestation of the metaverse today: users can jump between virtual experiences and create a social world of their own experience in it. Roblox’s vision has resonated with investors. The market value of this now listed company exceeds 45 billion. The dollar surpasses almost any other game company in the West.
4. Can Facebook become the dominant platform for Metaverse? What are the real challenges?
London technology investor Luke Alvarez said: “Now is the exploratory stage of Metaverse, just like the automobile industry in 1905, hundreds of companies provided various solutions.”
So, can Facebook, which has nearly 3 billion users, become a dominant Metaverse company? What challenges will it encounter in its development? There may be several factors to consider here:
- Can the advantages of its existing flagship products continue?
Facebook announced on Tuesday that it will recall about 4 million Oculus Quest 2 virtual helmet face cushions in North America. Previously, media and users have reported that the original face mask has a stimulating effect on the face.
Earlier in June, Facebook’s first Oculus headset advertising partner, the shooting game Blaton, withdrew from the plan after less than a week after strong opposition from the gaming community.
The fact is, Facebook’s sales of its Oculus virtual reality headsets have improved, but it lacks a game that can convince people to replace Instagram with a new type of digital entertainment.
- Practical obstacles from the real technology environment
Herman Narula, CEO of the London-based startup Incobable, said that the utility of Maverse is directly proportional to the number of things that happen at any time at any time. All practices still face huge technical challenges.
The biggest obstacle to Metaverse is hardware limitations. In such a scenario, the computing platform must support billions of operations per second in order to produce some of the experiences that people are talking about. Currently, global networking and computing power cannot yet support the persistent digital world experienced by millions of concurrent users in real time. Even with such network and computing capabilities, the energy consumption of this effort will cause problems for the national power grid and the environment.
- Consumers’ acceptance preference for Metaverse concept
In addition, the question remains whether non-gaming consumers are ready to accept this kind of dystopian science fiction vision.
According to a 2020 report by Thrive Analytics and Cartles Intelligence, relatively high-quality virtual reality and augmented reality technologies can already be provided to consumers, but less than 20% of Americans have used VR headsets as a form of entertainment.
- The market is concerned about Facebook’s intrusive advertising harassment, privacy concerns, antitrust review
The future development of Facebook’s Metaverse will also depend in part on its ability to resolve the harassment and privacy concerns of its mitigating intrusive advertising after numerous scandals.
In addition, Facebook is also facing the same scrutiny. Legislators have been enacting antitrust laws and Section 230 bills, which may cause a heavy blow to the company.
Regarding the above challenges, Zuckerberg still has no worries about whether Metaverse is the killer application of VR . He said, “Metaverse will bring new experiences and economic opportunities. We will have more interactive social media. We There will be more mobile devices, and we will have more types of media.”
In any case, looking at it now,
Although it cannot be concluded too early, after all, Rome was not built in a day.
Metaverse is very close, it seems to be there,
Metaveres also seems to be far away. Now it is a process. We must be patient, because it is inevitable.
http://www.techcrunch.com：zuckerberg is turning trillion dollar facebook into a metaverse
“China Securities Investment: VR/AR industry chain is maturing, the industry is about to explode” report
http://www.domestic-violence.org.uk: global augmented and virtual reality ar vr market 2026 theleading industry players
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