Meta universe is not a product, but the future of the Internet.
The term Metaverse is becoming “outreach.”
This is a sci-fi concept that existed 29 years ago. After absorbing the maturing AI, AR/VR, blockchain and other technological achievements in recent years, it suddenly occupied the attention of entrepreneurs and capital.
Roblox , known as the “Meta Universe First Share” , had a market value of over 40 billion U.S. dollars on the first day of listing, a 10-fold increase from its valuation a year ago; Epic Games stated that it would devote itself to the development of the Meta Universe business and easily raise 1 billion U.S. dollars;
Nowadays, various AR/VR companies that have been hindered in their development must call the meta-universe, and even social apps have also put in a mouthful, claiming that their goal is to nurture their own meta-universe.
The reality is that people with vision may not be able to describe the full picture of a change in the early stages. And the more common phenomenon must be that some people borrow it for packaging business, and some people use it as a joke.
So, what is the meta universe? What changes should we pay most attention to that the meta-universe may bring?
Recently, Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, who has a monthly life of 2.9 billion (more than one-third of the world’s population), made no secret of being a believer in the meta universe in an interview with The Verge. More importantly, he has circled some points that are truly worthy of attention for this possible future.
The successor of the mobile Internet
“Avalanche”, published in 1992, is a must-read for Facebook executives. The term “meta universe” comes from this science fiction novel. In the novel, humans live in a virtual three-dimensional space through an “avatar” (digital avatar), and the author calls that man-made space the meta-universe. It is born out of the real world, and parallel to the real world, just like the “oasis” in “Ready Player One”.
The industry consensus on Metaverse is: it is a real-time online world evolved from the Internet, and it is a new economic and civilized system composed of many online and offline platforms. For example, the protagonist in “Top Player” will buy equipment online in “Oasis” and receive goods offline; countless people earn money offline to buy online equipment, and even more people work as “IOI Company” in “Oasis” Online part-time job to earn money, etc., are the characteristics of the more typical Metaverse “new economic form.”
In Metaverse, it is very important that both people and companies can create content and experience, and can also initiate transactions. This doesn’t sound new, and it already exists in today’s game world. After all, the fun of online games comes from the influence of other people’s actions on players and the game world, and the in-game trading system has long been “standard”.
But what Zuckerberg sees is obviously not a larger and more complex “game world.” He thinks it’s time for the Internet to spawn a new world.
Today’s mobile Internet has been able to meet the various needs of people from getting up to going to bed. Therefore, I don’t think the primary purpose of Metaverse is to allow people to participate in the Internet more, but to allow people to participate in the Internet more naturally .
Since Facebook bought Oculus for US$2 billion in 2016, their R&D investment in the VR business has increased from US$5.9 billion a year to nearly US$18.5 billion now｜Vision China
Zuckerberg believes that the core driving force of this evolution is the progress of experience. He told The Verge that VR technology allows people to get a variety of experiences that are difficult to achieve through two-dimensional applications or web pages, such as dancing or different fitness methods. In short, VR makes people feel more “presence” in the virtual world, and can naturally and accurately simulate human behavior in the real world.
Zuckerberg’s “natural” not only refers to the “sense of presence” that VR technology can provide, but also includes the ability for users to access multiple platforms more frictionlessly. “Meta Universe is not just VR. It can be accessed through all different computing platforms: VR, AR, but also PCs, mobile devices, and game consoles.” In other words, people can enter Meta Universe anytime, anywhere.
Zuckerberg has constantly emphasized that Metaverse is not just a game. “We believe it is the successor to the mobile Internet. You can use all different devices and different levels of fidelity to access Metaverse.” In his view, This will be a sustainable, real-time, and no access restriction (multi-terminal) environment. “Imagine the meta-universe as a physical Internet, where you not only watch the content, but you are in it,” Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg made it clear that in the next five years, Facebook will become a “metauniverse company.” What’s interesting is that, from the perspective of organizational structure, Facebook’s meta-universe department is a secondary department under its VR business. Therefore, it is not an exaggeration to say that “Meta Universe is Xiaozha’s new packaging for the VR business” .
But Zuckerberg still has his own logic. Combining with the density mentioned by Zuckerberg about VR in the interview, it is obvious that Zuckerberg believes that if the core of the metaverse is an upgrade of the “Internet experience”, then it must first have the right equipment for the entrance. Just like there is no such thing as a flourishing mobile Internet without a smart phone. Therefore, he believes that Facebook is going to the next era, and this VR device and its ecology are the most important points worth grasping.
“Zuckerberg thinks that his involvement in VR hardware is actually like Musk’s involvement in rockets. He is building a key tool to the new world.” said Zhang Peng, founder of Geek Park. “Of course, one wants to define humans. One of the next steps on this planet is to push mankind out of this planet.”
But is VR really that entrance? There is also a firm belief in the industry that games are the best meta-universe entrance in this era. For example, Yang Yanzhe, head of the business analysis team of Tencent’s IEG Equipment and Platform Department, said, “In terms of industry rules, user attributes, technical preparations, etc., it is the most likely to be led by game companies. “
He believes that in a highly realistic open world, the matched users are young users pursuing novelty. At present, there have been successful early attempts such as the “Fortress Night” concert. Games and pan-entertainment content attract users. After the platform provides the underlying authoring tools, a large amount of PGC and UGC content will be produced and benefited. Next, after the platform has gathered enough C-side traffic and user time, it will widely connect the online trading platform to the virtual world. At the same time, the currency between virtual and real will form an exchange mechanism. At this stage, e-commerce and life services will appear. , Deep financial integration.
Obviously, both Tencent and Facebook have seen the overall picture of this “next Internet”, but Facebook wants to use VR equipment as a bridgehead, and Tencent undoubtedly defines games as a breakthrough.
It’s ridiculous to develop your own meta-universe
Last year, Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist who has been studying the meta universe for a long time, put forward several key features that determine the meta universe:
1. The meta universe must cross the physical world and the virtual world;
2. Form a fully mature economy;
3. Provide “unprecedented interactivity” (users can achieve an interactive experience similar to reality in the metaverse through the virtual image created);
4. More importantly, the meta-universe will be operated by many different participants in a decentralized manner, rather than belonging to a certain company.
Zuckerberg also agrees with this view. He believes that the meta-universe must be interoperable and portable: “You have your own virtual avatar and virtual items, which can be moved to any place instantly, instead of being trapped in a certain house. In the company’s products.” Like the W3C World Wide Web standard protocol, Metaverse needs to build a common protocol for each company to develop in a common and interoperable universe.
From this perspective, “Ready Player One” does not seem to be meta-universe enough. “Oasis”, the meta-universe that contains many worlds, was created by a company and allowed it to form a single control force. This is obviously not the future form of the meta-universe.
Zuckerberg said: “In the future, if you hear that a certain company is developing its own metaverse, it will be as ridiculous as hearing that a certain company is developing its own Internet.”
At the same time, Roblox and Epic Games, the most “meta-universe concept stocks” at present, also believe that the meta-universe must have genes that are decentralized and avoid being monopolized by a few forces.
Roblox co-founder Neil Rimer puts forward: “The energy of the meta universe will come from users, not the company.” Roblox is considered to be the platform that best fits the concept of meta universe, and is a creative game community platform with an average daily active user of 32.6 million. Roblox’s format is very special, with both game, development, and educational attributes. It not only provides players with games, but also provides free development editors for players to create their own games. Roblox’s social attributes, the form of user output content, real-time participation, and independent closed-loop economic system are all in line with the meta-universe concept.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney also emphasized: “Meta universe is not the hand of any industry giant, but the crystallization of the co-creation of millions of people.”
Although Zuckerberg believes in the meta-universe for the prosperity of Facebook in the next decade, he clearly agrees that the meta-universe is not something that a company can control. Zuckerberg started with hardware, the “transportation to the meta-universe,” and said that he has established an XR alliance with Microsoft and some companies that contribute to this, and is committed to promoting the development of the industry and the formulation of standards. But he also said, “I don’t deny that this is just a beautiful vision. Some companies will insist on closing.”
This is precisely the biggest problem facing the logical “better Internet” of the meta universe. Internet technologies and protocols are open, but the business world of the Internet is mostly closed.
In “Number One Player”, people travel in various virtual worlds, but they have unified account identities, friendships, real-time data flow, and asset transfer. This does not exist in today’s Internet world. For example, your credit score on Alipay and the personal credit data of Tencent’s system are not connected, and your friendship and communication records (memory) on WeChat are not connected. It is allowed to be imported into Douyin’s friend system.
MetaApp CEO Hu Sen said in an interview: “The prerequisite for the realization of Metaverse is interoperability and a unified personality. Without interoperability, if everyone is scattered in different villages, there will be no commerce, no division of labor, no scale effect, and no Industrial age; if you are not interconnected, everyone is scattered in different LANs, there will be no portals, search engines, and social networks, and there will be no information age; similarly, if you are not interconnected, everyone is scattered in different interactive content, and there is no unity avatar, no friends, no virtual assets, there is no meta universe.”
How can such a magnificent Metaverse enable mainstream technology companies to cooperate with each other and build together? How to persuade global regulatory agencies to establish effective management rules and convince them that the world created by Internet companies is beneficial to society.
New protocols and decentralized technologies have become a core issue . In order to support identity, digital assets and economic systems, Metaverse needs to use blockchain technology to establish credibility. Some industry insiders said that NFT has become a new value carrier, capitalizing virtual goods and realizing the value flow of data content. By mapping digital assets, all online equipment, decorations, and land property rights have tradable entities; and DeFi’s efficient and reliable financial system can accelerate the construction of the meta universe. Users’ financial operations are not restricted by geography, economic level, and trust. Through smart contracts, it can execute automatically and avoid black box operations.
If this core problem has not been resolved, it can be said that it will lead to the real meta-universe vision, making meta-universe the next Internet, and even the next new form of human society and economy will hardly finally happen.
So, what is Facebook’s roadmap?
In the era of mobile Internet, Facebook has neither hardware nor operating system compared to Apple and Google. It is not difficult to realize that Zuckerberg wants to firmly grasp the anxiety of the next era. “One of the reasons why we have invested so much in AR/VR is that smartphones were born almost at the same time as Facebook, and we have not played a big role in the development of these platforms.” Zuckerberg said.
In January 2014, he visited Oculus, which was founded less than two years ago. When he first put on the Oculus Rift helmet, he said: “You know, this is the future.”
Later, since Facebook bought Oculus for US$2 billion in 2016, their R&D investment in the VR business has increased from US$5.9 billion a year to nearly US$18.5 billion. The Quest series launched in recent years is now dominating the VR equipment market with its outstanding performance and relatively low price, with a market share of 79%. Oculus helmet sales contributed approximately $1 billion in revenue to Facebook last year.
Zhang Peng, the founder of Geek Park, once asked the head of Facebook VR at the Facebook F8 conference two years ago what is the tipping point for the explosion of VR equipment in Zuckerberg’s mind? His answer is: “The price is less than 200 US dollars, and the sales volume reaches 10 million units a year. We think this will be the tipping point.”
Oculus West 2 ｜ Facebook
Now, Quest 2, which starts at $299, is very close to this number. According to the analysis of investment bank Evercore, Quest 2 sales will exceed 8 million units in the first year. Facebook Reality Labs vice president Andrew Bosworth told the media that six months after the Quest 2 was on the market, sales exceeded all previous Oculus headsets combined.
It was also at this time that Zuckerberg first publicly announced the meta-universe strategy, and then Facebook announced the establishment of a meta-universe product group with hundreds of people. The group is led by the vice president of Instagram and belongs to the virtual reality group Reality Labs.
At present, Facebook has invested one-fifth of the company’s 50,000 employees in the AR/VR business. And at Facebook’s 2021 Q2 earnings conference call, the management said that in the future, it will invest billions of dollars a year to accelerate the layout of the meta universe.
Zuckerberg said at the conference call that the construction of Meta Universe requires new protocols and standards, new equipment, new chips, and new software. From rendering engines to payment systems, all need to be built. This will take many years, but the companies involved in the construction can get huge value.
Specific to Facebook, Zuckerberg said, “At present, our focus is to help develop the community and expand the number of people involved in the construction of the metaverse and virtual reality.” He believes that the economic energy that digital products and creators can bring is huge. “In the future, people will use their avatars, digital clothing, virtual goods purchased, and experience applications to travel through various small worlds to express themselves.” After Facebook’s VR hardware reaches the tipping point, digital content consumption in the virtual world becomes imminent.
rct AI COO Wu Xiankun said, “One of the keys to attracting users to the metaverse lies in the fact that people have something to consume in the virtual world. Only when users stay in this world continuously can it be more substantial. From the other side. Generally speaking, the key point of Metaverse is not what interface is used and whether the model built is realistic enough, these are just creative methods.”
Beyond digitization and content creation, consumption and ecology. There are three core problems Zuckerberg plans to spend his energy to solve next:
The first is the continued progress of immersive terminal AR/VR. Then there is the cloud and AI that provide the underlying support. Because the cloud allows various terminals to access it anytime and anywhere, AI can improve the real-time fidelity of users in the virtual world. In addition, a financial system that can circulate new forms of currency is also needed.
Looking back over the past few years, all three Facebook have layouts. In addition to investing heavily in the AR/VR business, Facebook also launched the AI framework PyTorch in 2017, which once had a tendency to catch up with the most popular Tensorflow. In addition, Facebook has long started to experiment with digital currency projects such as Libra.
Facebook may be thinking that in the future, it can make profits by selling AR/VR hardware, providing AI services, and building a community and ecology after collecting certain commissions. As VR equipment gets closer to the critical point of the outbreak, Zuckerberg has become more determined about the future he imagined.
In 1995, Bill Gates answered “What is the Internet” on the show｜David Letterman Show
In 1995, Bill Gates talked about the Internet in his infancy on a talk show on a talk show. He seemed to have tried his best as to what the Internet could be used for, but he could only explain it roughly: “People are free to post information. Everyone can have a homepage that belongs to them, with the company on it, and the latest information. What’s happening there is crazy…that’s really a big new thing.”
But the host at the time retorted that they already have a radio and can also subscribe to magazines. Why do they need the “Internet” to replace what they already have in life. The audience below couldn’t get rid of the default thinking of “the best now is the best”, and they all sneered at Gates.
Gates and Zuckerberg were once regarded as representatives of two generations of geeks｜WIRED
In 2010, as the representatives of the “geek power”, Gates and Zuckerberg, who appeared on the cover of Wired magazine, joined the old and the young together in 2010. At the time when the times are crossing, they may be destined to face a similar picture.
Even if the future they see is right, it still takes time to make this future understood by more people. The more critical question is, does the era they see really belong to them?
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/zuckerberg-metaverse-is-the-next-internet/
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