Why is the development of the metaverse a general trend rather than an accident?
The time span has reached the end of 2021. The technology circle and venture capital circle have not heard more good stories in the past two years. Of course, except for the community e-commerce that emerged in the country in the past two years, it can barely be regarded as a capital sought after. The race track, other things seem to have gone away, and we may not even see a field that is chased by capital like O2O or shared bicycles for a long time. People can’t help but sigh, what’s wrong with Internet entrepreneurship?
In contrast, since 2017, the investment field that overseas investment institutions are more enthusiastic about may be the blockchain, but due to the influence of some domestic policies, few well-known institutions are betting on the blockchain or crypto field. Therefore, in the face of the heat on the other side of the Atlantic, domestic institutions are also looking for the next Internet-level general track.
Until 2 months ago, a word called Metaverse (metaverse) suddenly became popular in major media. If you look back now, as long as the well-known media seem to have reported news about Metaverse, some platforms even produced it. The topic of the meta-universe has been discussed, but many people may still say to this term that “the monk of Zhang Er has no idea.”
Simple understanding of the meta universe
First of all, in terms of perception, we can define the meta-universe as a virtual reality world. What does it mean? It is like a dream we have when we sleep. We know that it may be a dream, but the sense of reality is still embarrassing. , And the meta universe is like creating a realistic and composable dream .
But from the experience point of view, the meta-universe will place more emphasis on the availability of authenticity and experience, as well as people’s desire for privacy and safety. Therefore, the boundary of the meta-universe may be larger than a certain dream we have made. This is also true. Why would some people call it the “next generation Internet”, and Tan Ping, the head of Alibaba’s Dharma Academy XR Lab recently reiterated this view at the “Alibaba Cloud Home Conference 2021”.
Of course, some people may say that Metaverse is another hype concept compiled by a group of tech elites and investment players, just to tell a better story in the capital market, but is this really the case?
From a media point of view, people hate falling voices, so is there a trick in the media tutorial to “do it the other way”? Or “change from another angle”, that is, when most people are saying that it is good, you have to bravely stand up and say that it is bad, so that you have a chance to win the attention of the public, and there is a certain probability that it will become a hot article, so it is very big In a sense, this is a media opinion, not a result of thinking about logic.
In fact, the author is more inclined to think that Metaverse is the trend of the times , just like Jobs released the iPhone 4 in San Francisco in 2010. In a sense, we can’t resist it, but we just opened the Pandora’s box of Metaverse at this moment. , Or after a period of time, we finally came to the edge of the meta-universe, and the following author will support this point of view from four aspects (the following point of view was first proposed as an internal offline sharing one month ago).
Hardware update iteration: from radio to VR
In 1901, Italian radio engineer Galilmo Marconi successfully invented radio waves capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean, and then he created the world’s first radio factory and obtained a patent. And what really made the radio enter the homes was the emergence of the kdka radio station. On November 20, 1920, kdka broadcast the first broadcast. The news was: Warren Harding defeated James Cox and was elected as President, therefore kdka broadcasting is also recognized as the world’s first true wireless radio station.
According to Michael Keith, a professor of communications at Boston College and director of the Department of Education at the Chicago Museum of Radio and Communications, in those two years, there were 500 radio stations and about 1.5 million radios in the United States, and every metropolis in the United States had its own Radio station .
Everyone knows the following story. Broadcasting swept the world by storm. It swept global families at the beginning of the last century. It was still selling well in our country even in the 1990s. It was an important source for many older generations to obtain the latest information.
Later, we had black-and-white TV and color TV. People gradually transformed from the world of sound to image information, and the richness of programs was greatly improved. It can be said that TV has become the memory of many generations born in the 1980s.
In the mid-90s, in 1946, the world’s first electronic digital computer ENIAC was born in the Mori Institute of Electrical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, USA, which opened up the high-speed information technology that we are more familiar with, and ushered in the Internet that continues to this day. era.
Of course, another important turning point in the Internet era is the popularization of mobile smart phones, the kingdom created by Mr. Jobs, which brought more innovations and subverted our production and life .
The latest research by Strategy Analytics, an analyst firm, shows that as of June 2021, half of the world’s population owns smartphones, about 4 billion people. However, smartphones only started to enter the market 10-15 years ago, and their growth rate is impressive. stunned.
Faced with such a large number of users, we can’t help thinking, how can smart phones evolve? How else can people’s daily social entertainment equipment evolve? Should smart device manufacturers be allowed to build cars in the face of slowing growth?
Let’s look at another set of data: IDC data shows that global VR headset shipments in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 52.4% year-on-year. Looking ahead, IDC predicts that global VR headset shipments in 2021 will increase by 28.9% year-on-year , but This is subject to the supply problems caused by the epidemic. In the long run, the growth of the VR headset market is still very strong. The IDC report predicts that global shipments will grow to 28.6 million units in 2025, a five-year compound annual growth rate ( CAGR) is 41.4%.
The world-renowned VR game “Beat Saber” (commonly known as “Rhythm Lightsaber” in Chinese) sold more than 4 million copies in March, and the sales of paid DLC songs exceeded 40 million copies, with revenue exceeding $180 million. Supermarket estimates.
From the data, we can intuitively see that the growth rate of smart phones is slowing down, and VR devices have begun to show real vitality after a period of lows . Although IDC predicts that the VR headset market shipments will be less than 30 million units in the future, this One data obviously underestimated the market’s growth rate. After all, the global VR headset shipments in the first quarter of this year increased by 52.4% compared with the same period last year.
We know that VR devices will be a very important part of the meta-universe, just like smartphones and mobile Internet, if someone told you in the 90s that we would shop on a mobile phone (at the time, it was still a “big brother” or PHS) Social, even more than 6 hours a day immersed in this world (QuestMobile data), it is estimated that people will be criticized as a lunatic, but now this is the fact.
So, what about the future? Will people gradually abandon the radio and TV, gradually put down their smartphones and find the next hardware product, then will it be a VR device, the basic hardware that carries the meta-universe?
Thinking about it further along this line of thought, who will become the Jobs in the meta-universe, and which piece of hardware will become a subversive product like the iPhone 4?
Changes in the consumer population in the Z era
If the changes in hardware are only “the little lotus shows the sharp corners”, then the changes in the population structure and consumers are changes that are visible to the naked eye.
We have to admit that with the passage of time, those born in the 80s and 90s, who were once a little young or young, have now entered the young and middle-aged, and are called the new generation Z (defined as the post-95+00) Seed players are growing up quietly. According to statistics at the beginning of the year, the number of active Internet users of Generation Z has exceeded 320 million, accounting for 28.1% of all mobile Internet users (QuestMobile data).
According to statistics, the average monthly usage time of Gen Z’s network is nearly 175 hours, which is 35 hours higher than that of all network users. We calculate it based on 480 hours of active time (minus one third of sleep) a month. One accounts for nearly 40% of daily activity time.
On the other hand, Generation Z is also known as the true original inhabitants of the Internet. They may have been accompanied by the Internet as long as they can remember, and they have even been at the forefront of the times, so their Internet use characteristics have become more distinctive .
According to the QuestMobile2020 “Generation Z” insight report, the user portraits of Generation Z include three important tags: “Animation”, “Star” and “Game”. Therefore, they are very Value economy and idol economy, these are areas that the big brothers don’t understand, on the contrary, they can do it well.
When we talk about the Z generation, we have to mention the current monthly live more than 237 million young users (18-35 year old users accounted for 78%) B station, people from the past did not understand to gradually accept some of the culture, including Two-dimensional, virtual idol and barrage culture.
During this year’s “Double Eleven” event, Taobao held the “Tmall Double 11 First Meta Universe Art Exhibition”, and the virtual spokesperson AYAYI in it has been sought after by many young users.
At the same time, another set of data about Gen Z is also worthy of our attention. Video entertainment is favored by Gen Z. The average person spends nearly 50 hours on video entertainment every month. From this data, we can intuitively see why the picture The reason why the opening rate of text content is getting lower and lower is that, after all, the choice of young users is the future direction.
But from this we can’t help but think of a change. When video expressions are more and more favored by Internet users, what will happen next? We can’t help thinking that perhaps VR/AR videos will bring more interesting experiences. Since it is something more interesting and newer, will Gen Z reject it? After all, many blind boxes that are not well understood by the post-90s generation have grown into a market of hundreds of billions.
If we think about one thing carefully, we will find that the advancement of science and technology has surpassed the imagination of most people. On the one hand, human beings as creators are adapting on the one hand, and on the other hand, they are still constantly innovating . Technology and human history complement each other, none of us can escape this spiraling vortex.
Big changes brought about by the epidemic
Looking back at the major social events that have occurred in the past two years, we have to admit that the epidemic has had a profound impact on the world, and even now we still can’t tell what changes this epidemic that has lasted for dozens of months will eventually bring. But standing in such a window to think about some endogenous logic, I have probably gone from being caught off guard to gradually adapting.
Just as Yuval Harari, a famous historian and author of the best-selling book “A Brief History of Mankind”, said on the epidemic, in the next few decades, when people look back on history, if they remember the new crown pneumonia epidemic, what they remember is not epidemic itself, but “Oh, is that since then, the fully digital world” .
This sentence seems to confirm some of the changes in the past two years. Just like the stock price trend of the well-known video conferencing software Zoom, it has attracted attention due to working at home during the new crown virus pandemic. Although the epidemic in some areas has slowed down, but Some technology companies seem to have felt the benefits of digital office, but this is only the appearance, more changes have been undercurrent.
Enterprise Technology Research (ETR) in the United States surveyed 1,200 CIOs from different industries in September last year. Finally, it is estimated that in 2021, 34% of employees worldwide will work from home permanently. Before the epidemic, employees who worked from home The quantity is only 16.4% .
Take Ctrip as an example. During the outbreak of the epidemic in 2020, nearly 70% of Ctrip’s 11 business lines of customer service employees implemented “working from home”, and the proportion of employees working from home in some departments was nearly 85%. And the results show that people who work from home can do more work because they are not affected by factors such as office interference and commuting time. Therefore, in August this year, Ctrip launched the “2021 Mixed Office Test” to verify the true effect of home office through a half-year A/B test, and the employees of the test group work from home every Wednesday and Friday.
Of course, we remain curious about the results of experiments like Ctrip, but it is more that the trend of digital office has also become the choice of many companies during the epidemic. After all, overseas giants such as Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook have long announced that they will allow their employees to be at home permanently. Office.
We have reason to believe that the change in home office is only a relatively obvious change brought about by the epidemic. In fact, we need to gradually overcome the limitations of physical space and find a new balance . However, if there is a product, it can be achieved without realism. The leap of physical space can also be “reachable”. Such a pain point is the “metauniverse conference” set up by Facebook, which makes Facebook see the greater potential of metauniverse and even changed the company name.
At the same time, the leap in physical space also makes it possible for thousands of people to listen to concerts online at the same time. The large-scale “immersive” concert named “Astronomical” attracted more than 27.7 million players to watch, but this is completely impossible in the real world.
On the one hand, we eagerly hope that the epidemic will end soon, but on the other hand, we have to face up to the impact of the epidemic and even begin to make changes to adapt to it. After all, every major historical change in history will bring new changes. not excluded. As early as July of this year, according to official statistics from the Oslo Institute for International Peace and Johns Hopkins University, the death toll in the past year and a half (4 million) is approximately equal to the total number of deaths in all world wars since 1982. (Today it is close to 5 million) .
Perhaps many years later, when we look back at this period of history, we will really feel this way: It turns out that the epidemic had such a far-reaching impact.
The convergence of emerging technologies in the past 30 years
When we put the time dimension into the historical process, it seems that the epidemic, technology and human development have come to a meeting point. New technological products urgently need to be updated and iterated to adapt to the rise of emerging consumer groups, and the impact of the epidemic It will speed up certain processes, especially digitization. From this we have seen that some things that were originally floating in the distant future have accelerated to come to us. This is the existence of the meta-universe.
Looking back at the technological development of the past 30 years, it is not an exaggeration to describe it as “subversion”, especially after entering the 2020s, we can intuitively see that 5G is accelerating, and IoT devices are rapidly entering people’s production, life, and labor. Intelligence started a new journey after AlphaGo . At the same time, the chip field is still developing in accordance with Moore’s Law, and even we have seen people’s pursuit of higher use of the Internet, including the gradual landing of blockchain and Web3.0. Of course, there are more and more portable VR/AR devices, which is a real technological advancement.
Known as the “scientist closest to Richard Feynman”, Max Tegmark has a new definition of future life in “Life 3.0”. He called it “Life 3.0”. Specifically, the future Life can design not only its own software, but also its own hardware, and ultimately can completely get rid of the shackles of evolution, such as Transformers.
Max’s Life 3.0 may be more in line with the human process and close to the limit of technological progress, but as flesh and blood, on the one hand, we have achieved the world through the outerwear of science and technology, and on the other hand, we have also gained experience and connection through technological products. The former is the external display of technology, and the latter is the internal display of technology . Just like Microsoft and Facebook, they are both products of the times.
So the time has come today. With the creation of new energy vehicles, SpaceX and brain-computer interface technology upstart Musk has become the new world’s richest man, and Tesla’s market value has exceeded one trillion. Compared with established technology companies, Musk seems It represents a new era. Under this background, who will be the “Facebook” or “Microsoft” of the same period?
From the current point of view, in the limited imagination space, Meta Universe seems to be able to carry the next trillion market capitalization company (we also attribute blockchain technology to Meta Universe). After all, e-commerce, entertainment, and social networking seem to be possible. Reshaping in the meta-universe, and these three directions have produced many giants in the past 30 years, will this time be different?
Finally, we return to the topic again, “Why is the development of the metaverse the general trend”, because smart devices have come to a new point of evolution, because the consumer population has ushered in a change, the pandemic has brought about a century of great changes, and various types of Technology has also reached a new gate, and one of these intersections at least we have seen the figure of the meta universe .
Although there is an old saying in the ancients called “Wang Po sells melons and boasts”, and it seems to be a matter of “butt decides the head”, the play of the meta universe may be more promising than we thought. After all, people have hoped for it hundreds of years ago. Being able to reach the whole world, to the seamless connection of information brought by the Internet more than 50 years ago, according to a certain transition logic, the next imagination is that even if you are in a busy traffic, you can truly feel “the desert is lonely and the river is sunset”. magnificent.
Of course, we have also seen many technology companies continue to increase the Code Yuan Universe track, but according to the logic of innovation, those products that are truly disruptive and innovative may be difficult to come out of the hands of big players, and even if they do, they are more likely to be internal Incubation or innovation, after all, the story of the ship’s failure to turn around is rarely seen in “Evergreen”.
Five years ago can be said to be the best entrepreneurial period for the blockchain, even a huge adventure island in the barren land, but now the blockchain has gradually moved from the mountains to the palace, which means more restraints and established players , But the application brought by the blockchain is still very early, and the utility of the blockchain + meta universe may be the foreshadowing of understanding the true “meta universe”, not just a simple creation of a virtual world .
There is a classic story in the business world. 100 years ago, the streets were not full of cars, but horse-drawn carriages of various sizes. At that time, people were worried that the continued growth of horse-drawn carriages would bring an overwhelming horse manure crisis. In 1898, the first international conference on horse dung was held in history, but then the horse dung crisis became a thing of the past, and the carriage withdrew from the stage of history.
Of course, if the hundreds of thousands of carriage drivers in the carriage story did not choose to adapt to the arrival of the car, they might only spend the second half of their lives in an amusement park or farm.
So, is the meta universe really coming? I think it might be faster than the time it takes for cars to replace carriages.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/why-is-the-development-of-the-metaverse-a-general-trend-rather-than-an-accident/
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