In the beginning, Zuckerberg founded Facebook. Then Zuckerberg said: “There must be a Metaverse.” So there is a Metaverse.
Baidu saw that Metaverse was good, so it developed a product called “Xiyang” with a rating of 2.0 on the Huawei App Store.
On December 27th, the Baidu AI Developer Conference was held in its Metaverse “Xiyang”. At the meeting, Robin Li said that the era of human-computer symbiosis is coming, and Baidu released the digital human platform “Xihe”. Image source: Girona official website
The name Hiram is very interesting. On the surface, it is hopeful land, a promising soil. But it has been circulated that the meaning behind the literal is more real-
Tai Shigong said: “The world is booming, all for profit; the world’s hustle and bustle are all for profit.” The so-called hope is the hustle and bustle for profit.
Just like the Metaverse in 2021, in the name of digital utopia, it has attracted countless traffic and is particularly lively.
In the past, when my old friends met again, I was most worried about the other party suddenly asking: “Do you know Amway?” But in 2021, the most worried about the other party asking is: “Do you know Metaverse?”
So, after talking about it for almost a year, what is the Metaverse?
Zuckerberg said that the Metaverse is a “permanent, real-time and no access restriction environment” , meaning: Metaverse means infinite-after Facebook changed its name to Meta, the logo used the “∞” change body. (Coincidentally, the WeChat video account logo is also a similar variant.)
Two beautiful bows
So, what exactly does the Metaverse contain?
What are the important applications? What are the disputes and risks?
Is it a new model of the future Internet, a new round of bubbles, or another drumbeat of the capital market?
In this issue of “Ten Questions on the Cube”, the Cube Knowing and Architectural Bureau will be divided into two parts and will be divided into two parts-A side to understand the Metaverse, and B side to disenchant the Metaverse.
I believe that after reading this article, you will definitely ask everybody:
Do you know the Metaverse?
Side A: Understanding the Metaverse
Only when a person is a person in a complete sense, he can play; and only when a game is a person, he is a person in a complete sense.
01. How to understand “Metaverse” literally?
The Metaverse style is very high, and its name originates from ancient Greece, the eternal hometown of the Western world.
The English “Metaverse” of the Metaverse is composed of two parts: Meta, Yuan, meaning “beyond”; Verse, comes from Universe, that is, the universe.
More than two thousand years ago, after finishing “Physics” (Physics), Aristotle wrote another book, which was later translated into “Metaphysics” in English.
Meta is added in front of Physics, which means “after exhausting physics, I will see what else we can study”, or to go beyond tangible things and explore more abstract and essential parts of the universe.
Therefore, the Chinese translation of Metaphysics is “Metaphysics”.
Aristotle who studies everything (second from left) Source: Pixabay
There is also a translation method of metaphysics called “metaphysics”.
So why does Metaverse always sound metaphysical? Half of the problem lies in this name. Metaverse and Metaphysics not only have the same vocabulary structure, but also have similar meanings, and both encompass the world.
The difference is that Aristotle tried to find the principle governing the operation of the physical world, while the Metaverse is:
It is an attempt to build a digital world on top of the physical world, and let this digital world move from relying on the physical world to independent originality, and finally achieve a deep integration and coexistence with the physical world.
02. What are the characteristics of the Metaverse?
According to the current general opinion, the Metaverse has six major characteristics:
5Rich content production
6Complete economic system
And these six characteristics, if boiled down to one point, are ” highly realistic .”
For example, immersion is to achieve a realistic effect from the perspective of the senses. Sociality, openness, and economic system copy the real world from the perspective of social relations; rich content production ensures the long-term operation of this virtual ecosystem.
Sustainability means that the Metaverse is like the real world, where there is no break in time and it will always exist.
In short, the purpose is to make this digital world look too much like the real world.
Since the day there were humans, people have been imagining virtual worlds. It’s just that in the past it could only be fabricated through imagination, but today people are really building virtual worlds through modern technology.
These imaginations include the world of ideas in Plato’s writings, the other worlds in various religions, the illusions in myths and stories, and the virtual reality in sci-fi works. In a sense, they are all Metaverses.
The “oasis” in the movie “Top Player” is a typical modern Metaverse.
“Ready Player One” poster
In “Oasis”, global players can be online at the same time, customize their identity and appearance according to their preferences, entertain, shop, socialize, and even get married.
There are also cinemas, football fields, high-rise buildings in the “Oasis”, all the facilities that may be in the real world-not just models, but can really be seen and used.
Although human technology cannot yet create such an “oasis”, its functions have already been partially realized.
For example, in April 2020, Epic Games has held a concert for rapper Scott in its game “Fortnite”, with an online audience of 12.3 million.
Source of live concert recorded by players: Internet
However, the Metaverse is not limited to the game world. Application scenarios in the real world may be more important.
One of the most anticipated virtual reality application scenarios is VR conferences.
With the current 2D interface of conference software, it is difficult to capture the body language and micro-expressions of other people, and if you want to focus on observation, it consumes much more energy than the real environment.
What the VR conference wants to achieve is to simulate all aspects from the sense of space, to the facial expressions and body movements of the characters, so as to truly achieve “like my presence.”
However, the current technology is not mature enough. For example, Meta’s horizon workrooms, although “available”, problems such as delays and crashes have emerged one after another.
Workrooms use screen image source: Meta official website
Through the above content, I believe you have an outline of the Metaverse. If at this time, your friends still want you to summarize the Metaverse in one sentence, then the definition of the famous venture capital Matthew Ball can be given to him:
“(Metaverse is) large-scale, interoperable, real-time rendering, 3D virtual world network, which can accommodate an unlimited number of users synchronously and physically, and has a sense of existence and continuity of data, including but not limited to identity, history, Prestige, target, communication and payment, etc.”
03. Why did Metaverse pop up suddenly this year?
From head to toe, from the inside to the outside, nothing comes from 2021 in the Metaverse.
The word “Metaverse” comes from an American science fiction novel “Avalanche” in 1992;
The source of VR equipment can be traced back to the invention of American scientists in the 1960s;
As for another important element of the Metaverse, blockchain, it is also an old concept that has been speculated for many years.
The reason why Metaverse will explode in 2021 depends on the outstanding contribution of the game industry——
In the past two years, game companies related to the concept of Metaverse have been so popular that they hit Apple.
In August 2020, Epic Games -the aforementioned company that held concerts in the game-sued Apple, arguing that the “Apple Tax” was a commercial monopoly.
Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games
Faced with Apple’s “big shop bullying”, app developers all over the world dare not say anything. The reason why Epic Games dared to face Apple is because its “guest” is big enough.
As of May 2020, the number of players in “Fortress Night” has reached 350 million, and it has become a huge ecosystem with extremely strong user stickiness.
In September 2021, a US court made a ruling requiring Apple to allow App developers to direct users to a third-party payment system, which will be officially implemented on December 9.
Like Epic Games, there is a phenomenon-level game company that bears the “Metaverse” label, as well as Roblox.
In March 2021, Roblox , known as the “Metaverse First Share”, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and its market value reached US$40 billion.
The game company went viral, and all the chickens, ducks, gooses, dogs and cats from all over the county came.
Blockchain experts say that in the Web1.0 era, netizens can only browse content on portals, and in the Web2.0 era, netizens can produce their own content. In the Web3.0 era, netizens can also use the blockchain to confirm their digital property rights. , So the Metaverse is Web3.0.
VR experts say that the first-generation Internet is in computers, the second-generation Internet is in mobile phones, and the third-generation Internet is in VR. Therefore, Metaverse is immersion and the next frontier of VR.
Everyone is right.
Metaverse belongs to the blockchain and VR industry, but in the final analysis, Metaverse belongs to the game industry (for the time being).
04. Why do you have to mention many game companies when you talk about Metaverse?
Rather than saying that games are currently the biggest application scenario of Metaverse, it is better to say that Metaverse is what the game company has long played.
In games such as “World of Warcraft” and “Fantasy Westward Journey” twenty years ago, people could build virtual identities, entertain, socialize, or get married.
As far as the core concept is concerned, the classic online games of the year, Roblox today, and the future “oasis” have an extremely important commonality, which is to give players more autonomy and space for creativity.
This constitutes a core underlying logic of the Metaverse game.
In other words, it was the game company that first thought about and set out to build the Metaverse. And VR equipment is just an important stage in the way that game companies continue to upgrade their hardware equipment.
If you compare a game to a computer, then VR is a better screen, and the design concept is the chip.
“Minecraft” looks like a small game in the Windows98 era, but has 130 million monthly active users in 2021. It can be seen that excellent game design is the core element of building the game Metaverse. Source: Minecraft official website
In “Aesthetic Education Letters”, Schiller left such a famous saying: “Only when a person is a person in a complete sense, he can play; only when he is a game, he is a person in a complete sense.”
The meaning of this sentence is that only in the world created by oneself, can people follow the rules and play their roles in a free, spontaneous, and harmonious state of mind, instead of being forced to be controlled by nature as in the real world. Laws and precepts.
Children are always happy when they play the house, but adults who really take on family responsibilities tend to frown.
When artists make creations and scientists make inventions, they are often willing to endure several times the hard work of others. Because when they are engaged in related activities, what they uphold is a game mentality-completely immersed in the world of self-creation.
In Schiller’s view, this is a bridge leading to self-realization.
“Animal Crossing”, “Minecraft”, “Legend of Zelda” and other games that allow players to fully play freely have been popular all over the world in recent years. It is precisely because of the “openness” in the game that players have more space Self-actualization.
Some scholars believe that the world view in “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” includes ancient and modern Eastern and Western philosophies, and even Heidegger’s “existence and time” issue. It is both rich and profound, and it is a true Metaverse.
05. Is the “digital twin” that we often call a part of the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is more than a game, it is a more diverse world. To understand this diversity, we must return to the digital economy and digital life.
As mentioned earlier, Metaverse includes a series of technologies such as digital economy, XR (VR, AR, MR), 6G, cloud computing, edge computing, blockchain, Internet of Things, DeFi and so on. It is not easy to sort out so many technologies quickly. We need to find a simple gripper.
This grasp is the “digital twin”.
Some people divide the Metaverse into three stages: digital twin, digital native, and virtual reality. The digital twin is the first step for human society to realize for a long time to come.
What is a digital twin? Simply put, it is to digitize things in the physical world and produce a digital entity corresponding to it.
Modeling Shanghai’s roads, buildings, and other data can produce a “digital twin” of Shanghai. Municipal engineers can simulate the management methods of traffic facilities in this digital model to get the best plan, and This scheme is applied to the real physical world.
Therefore, digital twins can achieve accurate replication and dynamic simulation of the real world, and use AI algorithms to better act on the physical world, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
Another example of digital twin cost reduction and efficiency enhancement is smart manufacturing.
Since the digital twin factory is synchronized with the factory in the physical world, workers can inspect the digital system at any time. Once a problem is found, the wrong parameters can be adjusted, and the factory robots in the physical world will also perform corresponding operations synchronously. Complete the actual repair of the equipment.
In a distant future, when all the physical world scene have achieved digital twin, a parallel digital world with the real world, that is the real universe yuan prototype, they were born, ideally, both with the physical world Deeply connected, it will also become an independent native system.
06. What industrial chains does Metaverse cover?
Metaverse covers a wide range, covering AR, VR, online games, social Internet, cloud computing, smart wear, biometrics, digital twins, optics, audio and video technology services, etc.
There are more than 80 stocks in the Metaverse industry chain in the A-share market, with a total market value of more than 4 trillion.
Top ten Metaverse concept stocks (2021.12.23) Data source: Straight Flush Tabulation: Lifang Zhizhi Juju
According to statistics, in recent years, Tencent has invested in and merged hundreds of Metaverse companies, including cloud computing, big data, communications, artificial intelligence, VR, AR, etc., all of which are included in the metaverse category.
And if you say which companies are closest to the concept of Metaverse, they are undoubtedly VR/AR-related companies, such as Goertek, Luxshare Precision, etc., as well as many game companies.
Metaverse industry picture Source: iFinD
Lifang Zhizhi Bureau will release a more complete Metaverse industry map in the near future, follow us, and don’t miss the global layout information.
07. What are the main companies currently deploying Metaverse?
Epic Games was founded in 1991. It owns games such as “Gears of War”, “Fortnite”, and “Bladeless Sword”. In the first quarter of 2021, the valuation reached 28 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of more than 60% over 2020.
Roblox was founded in 2004, advocating that gamers are not only participants in games, but also creators. Roblox provides players with special creative tools. Players can also get income after uploading their works on the platform.
According to statistics, the top creators earn more than 3 million U.S. dollars per year, and in the first quarter of 2021, the total income of creators on Roblox reached 120 million U.S. dollars.
In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus (VR headset company) for $2.3 billion. Then, Facebook increased its investment in VR-related research and development, reaching $18.5 billion per year.
In 2018 and 2020, Facebook’s Oculus has successively released Quest and Quest2 products. The VR device has also been reduced from US$399 to US$299, with a market share of 75%.
As early as 2013, Apple began to acquire VR/AR related companies, but related products have never been seen. The latest news is that Apple’s VR headset is expected to be available in the second half of 2022.
As an Internet company known for its games and social software, Tencent does its part in the Metaverse market.
As early as 2012, Tencent acquired 48.4% of the issued shares of Epic Games for US$330 million.
In 2019, Tencent and Roblox jointly established a subsidiary, Tencent holds 49% of the shares, so there is a Chinese version of Roblox. And overseas, in 2020 Roblox’s G round of financing, Tencent is also involved.
In 2017, NetEase Fuxi was established, advertised that AI will light up future games.
On December 21, 2021, NetEase moved the investor communication meeting to its online system “Yaotai”. Ding Lei communicated with more than 200 investors through virtual images.
In 2021, Bytedance will acquire VR leader Pico for 5 billion yuan. According to reports, Tencent had also intended to acquire Pico, but it withdrew from the bidding because it considered the price to be uneconomical.
Of course, other major Internet companies, such as Ali and Baidu, as well as foreign companies such as Sony, Nvidia, and Google, are also actively deploying industries related to Metaverse.
In fact, in recent years, the number of companies invested or acquired by major manufacturers in XR, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, etc., has been in the hundreds at every turn .
Rather than saying that they are laying out the Metaverse, it is better to say that they are involved in related technologies, and by the way the concept of the Metaverse is brought over.
Someone asked: which industry is good for Metaverse to be so lively?
It’s hard to say, all the hot new concepts in the past are all good for the training industry.
In 2021, there is a joke that said: The company that does Metaverse has not yet made money, but those “metaverse training courses” have already made money.
According to reports, a certain popular Metaverse online class earned more than 90,000 yuan in a single day, and the accumulated income was nearly 1.6 million yuan.
To what extent is the Metaverse just a digital utopia that touches porcelain everywhere, and to what extent does it truly predict the future of human society?
Side B: Disenchantment Metaverse
There are two basic particles in the Metaverse: fools and liars. Many fools revolve around the liar at high speed, forming the basis of the Metaverse constituent matter: the meta-zi.
——Network Snapshots in 2021
08. How far is the Metaverse from us?
A more optimistic estimate is that the real Metaverse will take shape by 2050.
In other words, if Metaverse is the iPhone, then we are probably still in the age when “Big Brother” was just born.
From the birth of the first “Big Brother” in 1973 to the release of the first iPhone in 2007, it was 34 years away. Source: Network
For example, the “real-time rendering” mentioned in the definition of Metaverse . This seemingly simple task is actually extremely difficult.
The movie “Alita” in 2019 takes an average of 100 hours to render per frame, and a movie that is only 2 hours long takes a total of 432 million hours of rendering time.
This is still a non-real-time rendering movie, and in the Metaverse world, all rendering must be completed in an instant.
What needs to be done in an instant is the speed of the internet.
To interact with users around the world in real-time in a highly rendered 3D world, at least a 6G network is required. Otherwise, when we meet for a handshake, our hand stretches out, but the other party is indifferent due to the network delay, which will be embarrassing.
The reality is that 5G infrastructure has not yet been completed in all countries in the world, and 6G commercialization will not be completed until at least 2030.
In addition to network speed, computing power is another stumbling block on the way to Metaverse.
According to the “China Hash Power Development Index White Paper” released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, by 2025, the overall global computing power will reach 3,300 EFlops.
What is the concept of 3300 EFlops?
1EFlops=10^18Flops, that is, exascale floating point calculations. 1EFlops is about 5 Tianhe 2A supercomputers, or the computing power output of 2 million mainstream notebooks.
However, such a powerful computing power can’t meet the computing power demand of AI at all.
Beginning in 2012, the amount of calculations used in global artificial intelligence training has increased exponentially, doubling on average every 3.43 months.
The future application of artificial intelligence in the metaverse will require almost infinite computing power as support .
The above are just some of the technical difficulties realized by Metaverse. In addition to these technical and infrastructure issues, there are also great uncertainties in the financial system of Metaverse.
The ideal Metaverse digital economy system relies on blockchain to ensure that everyone’s digital assets are clear and safe.
However, the risks of the blockchain are also obvious: privately issued currencies or distributed finance have to be recognized by various sovereign countries, and the probability is very low.
As early as 1976, Hayek proposed private issuance of currency, but it was not accepted by other countries. Source: Douban
Bitcoin, which has always been hot, has never really become a basic currency.
09. Is there 996 in the Metaverse?
Even if the Metaverse can be realized, it will not be a digital utopia. All ethical and social problems (including 996), if human beings have not solved them in the real world, don’t expect to solve them through the Metaverse.
What’s more, there are still many controversial issues in the Metaverse itself.
Therefore, at the level of social ethics, the metaverse must also be disenchanted.
The most prominent contradiction in the Metaverse is the problem of “immersion” and addiction.
Immersion is one of the core features of the Metaverse. But in contrast, the better the immersion in the Metaverse world, the more addictive it is.
And with the problem of addiction, another contradiction of the Metaverse has also emerged-people may move towards more isolation and differentiation under the promise of the “openness” of the Metaverse.
In “Ready Player One”, the protagonist borrows VR to come to the “Oasis” and can communicate with friends from all over the world. But outside of the game world, he lives in a slum, and his life is stretched.
And this sharp contrast in the movie is happening in the real world.
In 2020, many Filipinos make money by playing a blockchain game called Axie Infinity.
In this game, the player first needs to spend money to buy a few elves, and then after breeding, more elves are born and sold to other players.
Most of the buyers are players from developed countries. For them, it is just entertainment consumption. For Filipinos, they can earn an income several times higher than the actual salary .
Therefore, in the game, people in developing countries have become “workers” for players in developed countries, which isreally a digital twin in a sociological sense.
The slogan of Axie Infinity is: battle, collect, earn Source: Axie Infinity official website
Ironically, as more and more Filipinos discover this “good business”, competition is fierce and supply exceeds demand. As a result, by 2021, everyone’s income will drop below the real wage level.
Therefore, involution, squeeze, 996, “should be”, all can be in the Metaverse.
After all, the Metaverse is not only your and my personal Metaverse, but also the Metaverse of Zuckerberg, Ma Huateng, and the Metaverse of all kinds of people in this world; it is the Metaverse of excellent creators and the Metaverse of garbage makers. (Think about the ecology of short video creation).
In the end, everyone’s Metaverse will only inherit the good and bad things in the real world together.
And if the Metaverse can really make a person feel like he is in heaven, that is the beginning of the most terrible nightmare-blindly self-satisfaction means blindly self-enclosed, a person’s body, time, and attention are therefore all Occupied by a virtual product.
This is 996 in the ultimate sense.
10. So, does it mean that the Metaverse is not worth looking forward to?
Let me make Tai Chi: In fact, the Metaverse is not only worth looking forward to, but not worth looking forward to.
Said it is not worth looking forward to, because after all, the Metaverse is more like a gorgeous shell.
And it is worth looking forward to, because the industries and technologies contained in this shell are diverse.
Rather than making a metaphysical fantasy about the metaverse, it is better to focus on more specific sub-fields such as cloud computing, intelligent manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and industrial Internet, and explore the industry rules and growth curves behind each.
New progress in any of these technologies or industries is sufficient to promote a series of new commercial applications and social progress.
As for Zuckerberg’s statement that “Metacosm is the next generation of Internet”, it is purely “listening to the king’s words, just like listening to the words.” It should be noted that from 2016 to the present, there have been no substantial breakthroughs in VR equipment from performance to design.
What did Zuckerberg use to knock on the door to the Metaverse? Is the Facebook interface unchanged forever? Or an expensive and stuffy VR plastic box?
Can you imagine Jobs taking out a Nokia feature phone while saying “smartphone is the future”?
1. “Metaverse” CITIC Publishing House Wang Jianing He Chao
2. “Mega Universe Investment” China Publishing Group Chinese Translation Publishing House Jiao Juan, Yi Huanhuan and Mao Yongfeng
3. “Metaverse Series White Paper” Deloitte
4. Metaverse thematic depth-the future of Guohai Securities
5. Metaverse Survival Handbook Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
6. Criticize the meta-cosmic machine core
7. Avalanche is the inevitable red tide of the Metaverse AKASHIO
8. The 10-day Metaverse course that earned 1.6 million yuan, is it really interesting or cutting leeks? Sina Technology
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