Hot money does not move the Metaverse

Recently, Tianyan Check showed that Alibaba Singapore Holdings Co., Ltd. applied for the registration of trademarks such as “Ali Yuan Universe”, “Taobao Yuan Universe” and “Dingding Yuan Universe”. The international classification involves scientific instruments, advertising sales, education and entertainment, etc. The current trademark status is Application for registration.

All of a sudden, the voice of Alibaba’s entry into the meta universe was everywhere.

As a super Internet giant, Alibaba’s every move has attracted much attention. This time, starting from the trademark, “playing the card of the universe”, does it mean that Alibaba has officially started to deploy the business of the universe?

In this regard, Ali did not respond.

However, looking at the various developments related to Metaverse over a period of time, it is not difficult to see that whether it is Internet giants, scientific research institutions, universities, and even investment institutions, Metaverse has been regarded as a key development goal.

So, what exactly is the meta universe? What kind of changes can it bring to our lives? Is it a representative of new technological power or a simply hyped concept? Who is behind it to push it forward?

Hot money does not move the Metaverse

Compared with Alibaba, Tencent registered Yuan Universe-related trademarks earlier.

Public information shows that on September 14, Tencent applied for the registration of the “QQ Yuan Universe” trademark, but before that, Tencent had applied for the “King Yuan Universe” and “Tian Dollar Universe” trademarks.

However, in the layout of Metaverse, the trademark is only one of the very small aspects. Looking at the major Internet companies, the layout and attention of Metaverse has been very deep.

The combination of Internet companies and meta-universe is mostly inseparable from virtual reality technology. In the concept of meta-universe, the boundary between virtual and reality is gradually blurred. The emergence of virtual characters further narrows the concept of meta-universe and ordinary people. .

On September 28, a “girl” named “Hua Zhibing” officially appeared. “She” was a “Tsinghua student”.

In fact, this Hua Zhibing is the first AI virtual student of Tsinghua University. In the video, she sang and sang cross-legged, her facial expressions are very real. It is understood that this “classmate”’s singing and human biological characteristics are all completed by artificial intelligence. The limbs are trained by team members.

After Tsinghua University officially released the dynamics of virtual characters, discussions about virtual characters have become more abundant, and Internet companies have entered a deeper stage of testing the waters of virtual characters.

Prior to this, AYAYI, the country’s first ultra-realistic digital person, announced that he had joined Ali and became the digital manager of Tmall Super Brand Day.

On September 23, Huawei held an online full connection conference. Zhang Pingan, Huawei’s senior vice president, revealed Huawei’s first virtual digital person: Yunsheng, and announced that Yunsheng is a new employee who has just joined Huawei. At the scene, Yun Sheng and Zhang Pingan had an interaction.

From the outside world, virtual characters are just a small step in the layout of the meta-universe by the big factory, and the meta-universe concept itself may become an important direction for the development of the Internet in the future and even for a long time.

So, what kind of concept is the meta-universe that is out of the circle, and what impact does it have on our lives? Big factories have boarded the Yuan Cosmos bus one after another. Is it going to be a hot holiday style or a hard work with real swords and guns?

Metaverse is not a new concept, dating back to 1992, Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel “Snow Crash” proposed “metaverse” and “Avatar”. These two concepts. The plot in the book takes place in a future setting where a real human lives with a virtual human in a virtual space through a VR device.

In September 2021, Tsinghua University released the “Meta Universe Development Research Report 2021”, in which the concept of the meta universe was defined as follows:

The meta universe is produced by integrating multiple new technologies, a new type of Internet application and social form that blends reality and reality. It provides immersive experience based on extended reality technology, generates a mirror image of the real world based on digital twin technology, and builds an economy based on blockchain technology. The system closely integrates the virtual world and the real world in the economic system, social system, and identity system, and allows each user to perform content production and world editing.

In this report, the relationship between the meta universe and human beings is defined in detail:

First of all, the meta-universe extends the dimension of human existence, including the real world and virtual world that constitute a comprehensive environment for human existence.

Secondly, the sense of sight, hearing, touch in reality and the sense of sight, hearing and touch in the virtual world constitute the comprehensive senses of human beings.

After looking at the virtual humans of Tsinghua University and Huawei’s virtual human employees, some people mistakenly equate Metaverse as a virtual world, but in essence, Metaverse is a fusion of the virtual world and the real world.

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg said: You can think of Metaverse as an embodied Internet. Here, you no longer browse the content-but in the content.

This description of the meta-universe is very close, allowing people to intuitively understand that the relationship between the meta-universe and human beings is interoperable and not independent of each other.

If Metaverse will become the mainstream of the Internet in the future, then the current technical support is at a very important stage of reserve. What kind of technology is needed to assist Metaverse to make further developments? Kong Rong, chief of Tianfeng Global Technology Further interpretation.

In Kong Rong’s research, the positive cycle of “technology-application” development of Metaverse is divided into six layers: the underlying hard technology (core), hardware computing platform, system, software, application, and the economy that allows the entire Metaverse ecosystem to operate. system.

In the underlying technology, the basic hardware computer platform is indispensable, and in the higher-level technology, 3D Internet, AI, digital twin, machine learning, data interaction, 5G, UGC+AIGC, cloud computing, VR/AR And other technologies are important guarantees that support Metaverse to link the virtual with the reality.

In August 2021, NVIDIA officially announced that NVIDIA Omniverse, the world’s first simulation and collaboration platform that provides the foundation for the establishment of Metaverse, will achieve large-scale expansion through integration with Blender and Adobe, and will be open to millions of new users.

Nvidia’s roadmap for the meta universe is relatively clear, namely: the first stage, to be realistic. In the second stage, the digital virtual human is driven by elements. The third stage is to realize the interaction between the real and the virtual world, including the communication and interaction between the digital person and the real human, and between the digital person and the digital person.

At present, both Tsinghua University’s Hua Zhibing or Huawei’s Yunsheng and other virtual people have completed the three stages involved in NVIDIA’s meta-universe planning to a certain extent, and the popularization and application of meta-universe still needs Very comprehensive argument.

Starting with virtual characters seems to be the freshest attempt for many companies to enter the meta-universe.

Take AYAYI, an “employee” of Alibaba as an example. This virtual person entered Xiaohongshu in May this year. Up to now, 50 notes have been published on the platform.

“She”, who is regarded as a “shenyan” by fans, has a single note of over 100,000 likes. At present, she has 110,000 fans, and has received more than 240,000 likes and favorites. She not only shares her daily life, but also has a cordial and friendly relationship with fans. In addition to being praised for its interaction, its performance is deeply loved by fans.

Regardless of Hua Zhibing or AYAYI, virtual humans are not the focus of the company’s research on the meta-universe. As a beginning, the emergence and testing of virtual humans has furthered people’s understanding of the meta-universe.

Similar to the blockchain of the year, the meta-universe is not a completely new concept, and it took only a short time for the meta-universe concept to go from unpopular to popular, almost overnight, from Internet companies to research institutions to the Internet, media , Various concepts about the meta universe swept across the sky.

A few years ago, people “all in blockchain” now, many companies have “all in meta universe”.

Is the meta universe really here? Or is a hype mixed with capital in full swing?

Public information shows that Roblox , which has 100 million active players , received investment from Tencent in the G round of financing. This company went public in March this year, and it rose 54% on the first day of listing. It is known as the first share of the universe.

Tencent not only took a stake in Roblox, but also set up a joint venture with it to introduce Roblox into the country.

In April of this year, Epic, a game developer in which Tencent holds 40% of its shares, received US$1 billion in financing. The company said that the financing will be used for the business development of Meta Universe.

Public information shows that Tencent has invested a total of 43 in the game industry, a steady increase in the number of investments compared to the same period last year, and Tencent has increased its investment in two-dimensional, 3A console games, and boutique games this year.

Previously, an overseas analyst wrote an article “Why is Metaverse the ultimate dream of Tencent in the future?” “, which quoted investor Matthew Ball as saying, “If you ask who is closest to’Meta universe’ today, the simplest answer is not “Fortress Night” or “Minecraft”, but Tencent.”

The up-and-coming star ByteDance does not show weakness. The company code Qiankun invested in has issued “Restart the World” with a concept similar to Roblox; investment in visual computing and AI computing platform provider Moore thread; 3D vision technology solution provider Entropy Technology; AI Creative service provider Bailian Intelligence, and the acquisition of VR equipment company Pico, there is even news that BYTE’s acquisition of Pico cost a huge amount of 9.7 billion.

In addition, ByteDance registered the “PIXSOUL” trademark, which is considered a meta-universe social product similar to SOUL.

Netease, which is also good at game business, is also spending money to grab the market in the meta universe field. It invests in virtual character social platform IMVU and invests in IMPROBABLE. Its cloud computing platform SPATIALOS allows third parties to build large-scale virtual worlds.

As an interest social software, Soul proposes to build a “social meta-universe” in the industry.

The sectors related to the meta-universe concept stocks, including virtual reality, augmented reality, smart wear, artificial intelligence, AI intelligence, blockchain, 5G network, cloud computing, big data, etc., have ushered in capital with the rise of the meta-universe concept New attention from the market.

According to the “Entertainment Capital” report, there are three teams within Wuyuan Capital that are looking at the metaverse field. Some media and even statistics claim that Wuyuan Capital has invested in companies involved in the metaverse industry; Hillhouse Capital and Sequoia Capital also Looking specifically at investors in the “game” industry in a broad sense, it is reported that Sequoia Capital, which has led the investment of the game platform Rec Room 1.25 billion yuan, has set a KPI internally and will invest in 50 Meta universe game companies within this year.

According to VRPinea data quoted by “Connect”, in June this year alone, there were 27 financing mergers and acquisitions in the VR/AR/AI field in my country. IDC predicts that this year’s global VR virtual reality products will grow by about 46.2% year-on-year.

Regardless of the capital market or corporate practice, Metaverse seems to have become a new direction for future Internet companies’ efforts. Then, where is the goldfield of Metaverse?

Judging from the current corporate layout, gaming seems to be the field closest to Meta Universe.

Epic Games, the parent company of the game “Fortnite”, backed by the concept of meta universe, and was confident in a new round of financing. It received $1 billion in financing. It is reported that this is the highest financing record of the “Meta universe” track so far.

In July of this year, Zuckerberg declared that he “hopes to build Facebook into a’meta universe company’ in the next five years or so.” After Facebook laid out the VR field and launched Facebook Horizon to focus on the development of a VR social platform.

In addition, along with the tuyere of the meta-universe, the fiery heat of the virtual human racetrack is beyond many people’s expectations.

In addition to Hua Zhibing from Tsinghua University, AYAYI from Alibaba and Yunsheng from Huawei, Huaxizi, a major domestic cosmetics brand, has launched its own virtual spokesperson. According to statistics, there are currently 51 Metahuman (super realistic virtual Digital people).

What’s interesting is that these virtual digital people are entering our lives and infiltrating their influence.

The virtual character Hatsune Miku has a large number of fans to follow, and apart from her, exploring virtual idols is also a direction for the current corporate layout of the meta-universe. The success of Hatsune Miku is a successful practice of the virtual character’s move to reality.

Regardless of whether it is a virtual person or a wearable device or a game industry with hundreds of millions of users, it seems that the direction that Meta Universe can bring is very broad, but beyond the vastness, the prospect of Meta Universe is still very vague.

When hot money is pouring into this industry, a reality that cannot be ignored is that capital cannot be certain which track will be able to run out of the unicorn, and whether the layout of the company on the track for the meta universe has any prospects. The prospects and the technical and capital support needed to achieve a considerable goal are unknown.

In order to avoid missing a possible unicorn, he chose to cast a bet on the net, which in itself proves that, as a capital, it is not possible to see which path is the way to make money in the realm of the universe.

The most impressive future is that Metaverse has knocked on the door of the real world. Only companies with real technology and capital strength can take over the many problems behind this.

If Metaverse is really the home of the Internet in the future, it is foreseeable that participants on this track will have threshold restrictions at the beginning of their struggles, and not everyone can share a piece of the pie in a way that is enthusiastic.

Is the future subverting the present to gain a glorious one? Or is it a mixed bag? Just look now.

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