“Chaos” Metaverse: the concept is still unclear, but rational and pragmatic investment in infrastructure is needed

“The Internet community has recently been talking about Facebook’s renaming of Meta (meaning Metaverse). This is a milestone. It not only shows that Zuckerberg continues to strengthen his worldview of’Metaverse is the next stop of the Internet’, but also yuan universe and Musk advocate of Mars and Google to promote human longevity elevated to the same level. “this is the latest public opinion, the head of a Beijing Internet companies CTO (chief technology officer) Li Ye (a pseudonym) told reporters about the Internet circle.

Facebook’s Meta Universe Butterfly has quickly caused a hurricane in A shares, and the stock prices of many concept stocks such as Zhongqingbao and Tianxia Show have soared this week.

According to the interviews conducted by a reporter from the Comprehensive Securities Times in the industry and academia, Yuan Universe is still in a conceptual chaotic period despite the frantic capital hunting. Even with the expectation of becoming the “next stop of the Internet” and the “next-generation supercomputing platform”, its development must be gradual, and it will eventually take shape through the continuous integration of many tools and platforms.

Most people in the industry pointed out that Metaverse has a very long industrial chain and an extremely complex industrial structure. “On the one hand, it shows that games and other shallow industries are not the only ones that can participate in it. The current cognition of the capital market deviates from this fact. On the other hand, it also shows that the perfection of the metaverse requires long-term construction of many technical links, especially Participants are rationally and pragmatically invested in the construction of infrastructure . If infrastructure, market cultivation, software and hardware development, content construction and other links “break the contract”, they have to be wary of the bursting of the “meta universe bubble” in the next one to two years. possible.”


Grand and chaotic

The unanimous judgment of all interviewees is that it is still difficult in the industry to form a unified definition of the specific concept of “meta universe”.

Hengxin Oriental is regarded as one of the concept stocks of Meta Universe in the A-share market. Wang Can (pseudonym), the person in charge of the company’s relevant business department, introduced to the Securities Times reporter that although Meta Universe is hot, it is difficult to define it in one sentence. From the perspective of Hengxin Oriental, Metaverse includes at least four core keywords: creation, sharing, socializing, and the world. This should be a process of gradual realization. Only when the construction of the first three is completed can a “world” be built, which can also be understood as a “civilization” between virtual and reality.

Li Ye introduced that the current concept of the meta universe still has the characteristics of chaos, vagueness, and grandeur. “The meta universe has built an open, multi-player online, real-time virtual and live community.” It needs to have “immersion and openness.” With features such as “sexuality, economic system, and civilization”, blockchain, VR/AR, 5G/6G may become its underlying technical support.

Why is there still no consensus in the industry on the fiery meta-universe concept? Baidu vice president Ma Jie analyzed to a reporter from the Securities Times that the main reason is that the concept of meta universe is too new and too big. “From the current point of view, many of them, including VR technology and meta-universe games, are just some of the key technologies or possible applications. At present, no one can accurately judge what the meta-universe will be like in the future.”

Ma Jie said that although people have not yet reached a consensus on the meta-universe concept, its essence is the process of virtualizing and digitizing the real world. It requires a lot of transformations in content production, economic systems, user experience, and the physical world to make it parallel. In the real-world space. Ma Jie believes that the development of the meta universe is gradual and is formed by the continuous integration of many tools and platforms. ” Specifically, it takes three stages to realize the meta-universe. The first is to realize the elements of identity, friends, immersion, and wherever possible, the next is to build an economic system, and the third is to build a civilization. Only in this way can the construction of the meta-universe be truly realized. . “Magee said.

Although it is still in the conceptual chaos period, it has not hindered the entry of multi-party capital. According to the reporter’s analysis, the major industry giants have accelerated their pace of entering the meta universe. These include not only Alibaba, ByteDance, Tencent , Facebook and other major Internet companies, but also luxury brand LV also launched the meta-universe game “Louis The Game” to celebrate its 200th birthday for its founder Louis Vuitton. After the game was launched, it quickly surpassed “Honor of Kings” and grabbed the first position in the IOS free game rankings several times.

Mergers and acquisitions are an important path for these industrial capital giants to deploy the meta universe. Since the acquisition of Carbon Design, the Xbox 360 controller design team in 2014, Facebook has invested and acquired more than 15 times in technology fields including computer vision, facial recognition, eye tracking, artificial intelligence, and AR/VR. In addition, ByteDance’s “sky price” acquisition of VR startup Pico, etc., also points to the layout of the meta universe. At the same time, according to statistics from Tianyancha, since July this year, technology companies including Tencent, iQiyi, and Alibaba have successively applied for multiple “Meta Universe” trademarks.

Li Ye analyzed that from the perspective of the meta-universal characteristics of the big factory layout, they are all centered on realizing the characteristics of immersion and openness and complementing the underlying technical support such as blockchain, VR/AR, and 5G/6G. “Don’t underestimate the influence of giants entering the meta universe. This shows that it is wrong to treat meta universe as a concept. Technological progress is changing with each passing day, especially in the new generation of information technology, which was seen by us a few years ago. Created a concept full of science fiction and a sense of the future, and later were put into use. The so-called “the future has come”, that is what it means.”


The Debate of Metaverse Games

Although the concept of Metaverse is still in a chaotic period and there are differences in how to define it, it is generally believed in the industry that the deep commercialization of Metaverse is about to or is starting.

There have been media reports that the “VR+5G” application is regarded as the landing of Meta Universe. For example, when the quality improvement and transformation project of a Hunan steel mill engaged in non-ferrous metal rolling and processing was carried out to the installation and commissioning stage, it was affected by the new crown epidemic. Technology expands transnational remote assembly.

In an interview with a reporter from the Securities Times, an industry person said that the black light factory and unmanned workshop are only the 1.0 stage of the factory of the future. The 2.0 version of the factory of the future currently under construction is characterized by digital twins, CPS (cyber-physical systems), and fully connected factories. Since then, with the “industrial meta-universe” as the symbol, the future factory will enter the 3.0 stage.

However, some voices believe that, in a sense, this is equivalent to a new vest of “meta universe” in VR. Li Ye believes that “Meta Universe can be regarded as the trump card application of VR, and VR can also be regarded as the first entry into the Meta Universe. However, with the widespread cloudification of smart terminals in the future, Meta Universe will surely achieve multi-end development. New situation. My personal judgment is that VR glasses will have the best experience in the future, and PCs will have the best visual effects.”

With the enhancement of Meta Universe’s landing expectations, A-share related concept stocks were speculated by funds. For some listed companies, it feels like a coincidence to stand on the meta-universe outlet.

Wang Can said, “Although the concept of meta-universe has become popular recently, Hengxin Dongfang has been deeply plowing the field of VR. This time we also realized that the goals of the two are similar. At present, we have been making breakthroughs in products and at the same time precipitating PGC. The content promotes and encourages the production and composition of UGC content. I personally think that the directions of Hengxin Dongfang and Metaverse are similar, but not completely the same.”

From the perspective of stock price performance, Zhongqingbao can be called the “leader brother” of this round of meta universe concept, and has institutional funds involved. The reason is that the company mentioned that the “Brewmaster” game involves the concept of “meta universe”. Zhongqingbao’s feedback on this is that Metaverse is a huge concept and model, the company is still in the preliminary exploration stage, the concept is relatively shallow, the corresponding product is still under development, and the launch time and region of the new game are also affected by many factors. Influence. The company does not rule out the possibility that there is a large gap between related products and Meta Universe.

So, what is the role of the meta-universe game that has been contested by funds in the entire meta-universe landing?

Ma Jie analyzed that for many Metaverse startups, it should be difficult to find a better way to make money other than games. “This is a process of continuous exploration, but it depends on whether these companies can survive the (profitable) day.” Ma Jie said.

Ma Jie’s judgment can be reflected in Roblox , which is regarded as the “first stock of the meta universe” by capital . At present, the company’s market value is more than 40 billion U.S. dollars, and the daily active users in the second quarter of this year reached more than 40 million, which is extremely high among game companies. However, Roblox is still unprofitable at the same time, with a loss of 140 million US dollars in the second quarter, and has been losing money for 14 consecutive months. This time span is extremely rare in the entire game industry.

There are also industry insiders who do not recognize “game first”. Li Ye believes that if Metaverse is to truly usher in the explosive period, it should make a breakthrough in improving business efficiency, rather than landing in the game industry.

For example, Li Ye, Musk may be able to stay at home 24 hours in the future, because Meta Universe can make an identical Tesla appear at home, and he can view the inside and outside of the car in 360 degrees. This is similar to the remote control desktop technology in the early 2D meta-universe era. “From the perspective of past industry laws, the birth of commercial computers is certainly not because of games, but for commercial use; mobile phones first came out only to improve work efficiency, and games are just a byproduct of many years of development. The development of the meta universe, It should also follow the same industry rules.”

Ma Jie introduced to reporters that Metaverse’s industrial chain is actually very long, and games that are hyped by the capital market and VR devices seen by the market are just a small part of it.

“Meta universe is a very complex industrial structure, including multiple dimensions: first, experience, including games, social, e-sports, video, shopping, etc.; second, developer ecology, which will bring design tools and workflow nodes Opportunities; there are also spatial computing (AI, 3D engine, geographic information mapping), human-computer interaction (wearable devices, perception systems), decentralization (edge ​​computing, blockchain), infrastructure (5G, CPU, GPU, etc.) )… Therefore, Meta Universe is by no means as simple as the secondary market currently reflects.” Ma Jie said.


Speed ​​up development or burst the bubble?

Li Ye believes that whether from the competition for funds in the secondary market or from the scramble of domestic and foreign technology companies to deploy the metaverse, the essence is to grab the next generation of supercomputing platforms.

“In the process of generational transition between the old and the new era, it is often accompanied by the handover of the new and old dominant forces. As the most advanced form of the Internet, Metaverse points to the fight for the right to speak and the dominant position in the industrial chain. Tech giants must have a final battle. Either actively or passively, technology companies will not stop until the end of this future battle.” Li Ye analyzed, “Metaverse is still in the early stage of development, and every move of technology companies is for their own position in the industry. Adding bricks and tiles is also shaping the final form of the meta-universe together.”

Ma Jie is positive about this, ” Why is Metaverse so popular and important? In a sense, it is the leading power of cutting-edge technology. While leading the Internet and AI, China is still lagging behind in terms of chips and engines. For the country, the promotion of the development of Metaverse is helpful to the improvement of the domestic related industry chain. This is related to the fair institutional arrangement of cyberspace.”

Therefore, under the blessing of giants and the competition for funds, most people in the industry are very optimistic about the future of Metaverse. Yi Huanhuan, vice president of the Peking University Financial Alumni Association, believes, “If you look at the current metauniverse status in ten years, it will be the same as the Internet in 1996. In my opinion, within ten years, the metauniverse shape and pattern will be Completely formed; within five years, who will become a big player in the industry, and the core underlying technologies will all mature.”

At the same time as the “Big Bang” of the Metaverse, some people in the industry were worried about the risks.

Li Ye said that the development of Metaverse is still at an early stage, and the time required for technology research and development is still uncertain. “From the perspective of Metaverse and the virtual reality-related industries involved, there are still blind spots in legal supervision, and there may be uncertain legal supervision risks. In addition, for participants, the intensified market competition leads to risks such as lower returns than expected. Also need to be vigilant.”

Some interviewees did not even agree that the metaverse is a new thing. Professional investor Zipi believes that the Internet itself is a virtual world. From the PC to the mobile Internet to the AI ​​era, its essence is a web. No matter how you play with the concept, the essence remains the same. “If you want to improve the experience of the virtual world, VR, helmets, etc. are definitely not meta-universe, at best they are just a transitional product, just like the VCD of the year.”

Yi Huanhuan said that when a big wave comes, we should neither rush to affirm, nor rush to deny, but to constantly observe and learn. Yi Huanhuan said, “Previously, from cloud computing to big data to Internet finance, every wave of craze was before the arrival of the industry, which would first trigger a capital market boom. Once the industry has reached an acceleration period, the leader will It is looming and gradually concentrated, after which we need to be cautious again, because it is likely to enter a bubble period.”

Yi Huanhuan gave an example. Before the United States proposed the concept of an information superhighway, there was a big bubble in the Internet around 2000. On the one hand, some companies have never seen each other since then; but at the same time, some companies such as Amazon have gradually grown into absolute leaders.

Ma Jie is also wary of the meta-universe bubble. “Why the hot VR before can only stay in the corner and eat dust for quite a while? It’s because of the high production cost-fewer participants-fewer excellent works-difficult to realize-pushing up production costs-more participants The vicious circle of less. For the current metaverse, it faces at least the “three deficiencies”: lack of infrastructure, lack of tool chains, and lack of content. “

He used multi-person interaction as an example. If someone wants to build a concert of 100,000 people in the meta universe, this will be an unimaginable burden on the server, and online motion capture and online rendering will become problems. Including pictures, voice streams, etc., will form an astronomical data packet. “Therefore, in Metaverse, although there is no need to consider the epidemic and other issues online, there will be greater challenges and will face huge workload and infrastructure constraints.”

Therefore, Ma Jie believes that what Metaverse needs most at this time is calmness and pragmatism, and what it needs to do most includes at least four aspects: infrastructure, market cultivation, software and hardware development, and content construction. “Metacosm needs the entire society to participate in this new infrastructure. Everyone is busy making visible fancy things, but the things that can determine the success or failure of the metaverse are far from complete. In a sense, the development of the metaverse A real’infrastructure madman’ is needed.”

Li Ye also said that the mature application of an important technological achievement is inseparable from the advance deployment of a large number of infrastructures. “The construction of the information superhighway paved the way for the maturity of Internet technology. The improvement of Metaverse also requires the long-term construction of many technical links, and requires more social resources to be invested in the construction of infrastructure.”

Disclaimer: The Securities Times strives to be truthful and accurate. The content mentioned in the article is for reference only and does not constitute substantive investment advice. The operation is at your own risk accordingly.

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