“Metaverse” exploded, human beings will become “amphibious species”?

  • Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, stated that “Meta Universe” will become the “successor” of the mobile Internet. He believes that Facebook will change from “a social media company to a meta universe company” in the next five years. .
  • “Technology is eager for new products, capital is looking for new exports, and users are looking forward to new experiences”-this is the main reason why the concept of “Meta Universe” has exploded this year.

The American social media Facebook company recently announced that it plans to hire 10,000 highly skilled talents in EU countries to create a “meta universe” within five years. This is the latest step for the world’s technology giants to deploy the “meta universe”.

2021 is called the first year of “Meta Universe”. The endless emergence of “metauniverse” applications has a tendency of “squandering flowers and fascinating eyes”, but the technical level, content supply and user experience are still in their infancy.

From science fiction to reality

"Metaverse" exploded, human beings will become "amphibious species"?

On September 23, an exhibitor demonstrated a VR interactive game at the 13th China-Northeast Asia Expo. Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Xu Chang

“Meta universe” was originally a concept that originated in science fiction and movies. The listing of American game company Roblox in March this year completely triggered the “meta universe” boom in reality. Roblox is a sandbox game that is extremely popular among foreign teenagers. Players can freely develop various mini games on its cloud platform. This “open ecology” is the main reason why it is regarded as a “meta universe” concept stock. . Subsequently, the concept was enthusiastically sought after by domestic and foreign technology giants and capital markets, rushing to enter the market.

What is “meta universe”? “Meta universe” is composed of “meta” (transcendence) and “universe” (universe), that is, “a world that transcends the universe”. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as a virtual reality (VR) space in which users can interact with computer-generated environments and other people.

About 30 years ago, American science fiction writer Neil Stephenson’s novel “Avalanche” created the concept of “meta universe”, which refers to a computer-generated virtual world. The protagonist of the novel, Ahong, is a pizza delivery man who rents in a small warehouse with others in reality, but when he connects himself to the “meta universe”, he moves into a virtual mansion. In “Meta Universe”, everyone has their own digital avatar. The 60,000-kilometer-long Equator Avenue is always brightly lit, with giant neon lights hanging high in the air, and special blocks that ignore the laws of three-dimensional space and time are unseen in reality. Wonders.

The movie “Number One Player” is more intuitive to show the audience the realization of the “meta universe”. Put on a VR headset to enter the virtual world of “Oasis”, “the only limit here is your own imagination”. “Oasis” has a fully operational virtual social form, including digital content and digital products from all walks of life. The protagonist can not only “see” but also “feel”. Through the somatosensory suit, he can perceive the physical pain caused by conflict in the virtual world.

Roblox CEO David Basuki put forward the eight elements needed for “meta universe”: identity, friends, immersion, low latency, diversity, any place, economic system and civilization. Based on Basuki’s standards, the “meta universe” should be a virtual world parallel to the real world, with a fully functioning social and economic system, and people in reality can enter virtual space-time life in the form of digital avatars and gain infinite proximity For real experience. Users can entertain, socialize, consume, and create content in the “meta universe”.

Why ushered in a big outbreak

"Metaverse" exploded, human beings will become "amphibious species"?

On May 21st, the staff played ancient chime music through VR technology at the China Higher Education Expo. Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Li Ziheng

The industry generally believes that 2021 is the first year of “Meta Universe”, and that it has been five years since 2016, the first year of “virtual reality”. Is the so-called “Meta Universe” first year meeting “old wine in new bottles”? Perhaps it can be seen from the strategic planning of related technology companies.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, is an active advocate of “Meta Universe”. In July this year, “Meta Universe” will become the “successor” of the mobile Internet. During the year, from “a social media company to a meta universe company”. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in May this year that the company is working hard to create an “enterprise meta-universe.” In addition, US Epic Games, the production company of the “Meta Universe” game “Fortnite”, said that it has raised $1 billion in funds to develop “Meta Universe” related products.

Just as the industry does not yet have a recognized and accurate definition of “metauniverse”, companies have various ways to shape “metauniverse”. The global chip giant Nvidia developed the real-time simulation and collaboration platform Omniverse for exploring the “meta universe.” Japanese VR developer Hashilus opened the “Meta Universe” browser “Mecha Bath” in August this year, allowing users to enter a virtual space with a large number of real-time online participants directly from the web browser.

“Technology is eager for new products, capital is looking for new exports, and users are looking forward to new experiences”-this is the main reason why the concept of “Meta Universe” has exploded this year. Compared with the first year of “virtual reality” in 2016, the expansion of demand and the blessing of new technologies have also made the concept of “meta universe” more reliable.

From a demand perspective, the new crown epidemic has weakened people’s connection in the physical world and strengthened the need for interaction in the virtual world. The “2020-2021 Metaverse Development Research Report” recently released by the New Media Research Center of Tsinghua University pointed out that under the new crown epidemic isolation policy, the length of time the whole society has been online has increased significantly, and the “home economy” has developed rapidly. Online life has changed from a short-term exceptional state to a normal state, and has become a world parallel to the real world from a supplement to the real world.

From a technical perspective, the development of technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain provides the possibility for the development of “meta universe”. Among them, interactive technologies and hardware devices such as AR and VR have become the key to entering the “meta universe”. At present, Facebook, Google, and domestic VR hardware company Pico have all launched consumer-level VR headsets. Wearing them to play immersive games and online virtual social interaction have all been realized.

Currently in the “breastfeeding period”

"Metaverse" exploded, human beings will become "amphibious species"?

On June 11th, in the Motion Capture Lab of Animation College of Jinling Institute of Technology, teacher Ye Xiaoyu (left) is instructing students to practice motion capture courses. Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Li Bo

The endless emergence of “metauniverse” applications has a tendency of “squandering flowers and fascinating eyes”, but the technical level, content supply and user experience are still in their infancy. New economy investment institution Yikai Capital believes that “Meta Universe” is still in the “breastfeeding period”. The short-term breakthroughs are games, social interactions and immersive content. These are the core needs of users at the moment. Only then can they gradually expand their reach through the advantages of traffic. Ecology.

In the long run, the “meta universe” will eventually give birth to a new type of social relationship integrating online and offline . Shen Yang, executive director of the New Media Research Center of Tsinghua University, told reporters that the “meta universe” on the one hand expands the dimensionality of human existence, and people will live in a comprehensive environment that integrates the real world and virtual world; on the other hand, it expands the dimensionality of human senses. Brings a comprehensive sense of reality/virtual vision, hearing, and touch.

” Looking forward to the future, online and offline will be completely connected, human real life will begin to migrate to the virtual world on a large scale, and humans will become real and digital’amphibious species’ .” He said.

At that time, people’s lifestyles, production models, and organizational governance will be reconstructed. Facebook said: “Metaverse will not be owned and operated by a single company. It is like the Internet, with openness and interoperability as its key features.”

However, the landing of any emerging technology will be accompanied by unknown risks and challenges. Relevant industry experts believe that in the future, in the cross-enterprise “meta universe”, a fair third-party service platform is needed to confirm the rights of users’ digital assets and realize the invocation of applications across different companies, such as buying a piece in the A game. Clothes must be wearable in the B game; the user’s “digital avatar” should also be unified and interoperable on different platforms.

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