Giants rushing into the "meta universe" will be the new vest of virtual reality

  Technological innovation world wave

  ◎Reporter Liu Xia

  In 1992, when the famous American science fiction master Neil Stephenson put forward the concept of "meta universe" in his science fiction novel "Avalanche", people might not have thought of the future scenario he envisioned in the book (human beings use virtual reality equipment). Living with a virtual person in a virtual space) will enter reality, and will "become famous in one fell swoop" with the help of the technology giant Mark Zuckerberg's statement.

  Zuckerberg announced to the American media that he believes that "Meta Universe" is the next generation of the Internet, and Facebook intends to transform into a "Meta Universe" company within 5 years.

The Spanish News Network pointed out in a recent report that in addition to Facebook, other Internet giants have recently deployed the concept of "meta universe". In the future, people may enter a virtual "meta universe" immersively.

  According to Bloomberg in the United States, the market size of "Meta Universe" will reach US$800 billion in 2024, and it may reach US$2.5 trillion by 2030.

What is "meta universe"

  Imagine that there is a world parallel to the real world, where a digital "I" is a "clone" of the physical "I" in which to make friends, play, work and play. Everything is carried out in an immersive way, enabling people to interact in this parallel world. As similar as possible to real life, this is the "meta universe".

  Laura Raya, an extended reality expert at the Spanish Institute of Technology, Art and Design, said: “The'meta universe' refers to the digital'clone' that creates a physical environment in cyberspace. It does not aim at playing games and earning points, but instead It is a digital reality in which we will reproduce many social dynamics in daily life. Another feature of it is immersion."

  Once in the "meta universe", residents there will be able to buy and sell goods, property, etc.

Raya emphasized: "If you can't do almost everything you do in the real world, it will be just an ordinary digital application, but'Meta Universe' is not like this. Virtual currency must exist in'Meta Universe'."

In other words, the "meta universe" will generate economic activity.

  Gamelab’s strategic consultant and founder, Ivan Fernandez Lobo, said: “One of the pillars of the'meta universe' is that all our current assets are digitized and become part of that world, just like in the “meta universe”. Everything or what happens can be traded in a certain way and produce a certain value. Blockchain technology provides clues for how these problems develop."

  Like the Internet, "Meta Universe" will be a collaborative ecosystem composed of different companies, with open standards similar to the World Wide Web, in which users can freely move from one platform to another while maintaining their digital assets.

Zuckerberg seems to be a fan of this model.

He said: "The beautiful vision of the'meta universe' is not built by any specific company, it must be interoperable and portable."

  However, his ideas have also met with some skepticism.

César Cocoles, professor of computer science, multimedia and telecommunications at the Open University of Catalonia, pointed out: "In my opinion, this seems to be the best way for the'meta universe' to move forward, but this way comes from I was shocked by the password of a person whose business model is the opposite."

The "Casino" of billionaires

  Although Facebook is best able to open up the virtual space of the future-it has the best-selling virtual reality glasses Oculus on the market, but the competition will still be fierce.

Raya said: "Facebook has strong technical capabilities in generating virtual images and realistic graphics environments. But in other areas, it faces competition from many technology giants."

  In August of this year, Facebook released Horizon Workrooms, which allows users to hold meetings in a virtual reality environment.

Epic Games has produced popular games such as Fortnite. In April, it raised $1 billion from a group of investors, including Sony, to create its own "meta universe."

The microprocessor manufacturer Nvidia already has an industrial-oriented platform Omniverso, which is used by companies such as BMW to perform advanced simulations of the real world.

  Lobo said: "Tech giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Google or Amazon have invested a lot of resources to conceptualize the'meta universe' and create the necessary infrastructure to technically support the'meta universe' dream. They rely on video The knowledge, talent and technology accumulated in the game field can do this. So far, the main method of approaching the'meta universe' is video games."

  Realization still faces many challenges

  Although global popular games such as Fortnite or Roblox contain elements of the "meta-universe", it will take a long time to make it fully operational.

Joseph Angel Olivas, a professor at the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain, said: "In the 1960s and 1970s, the pioneers of artificial intelligence said that robots will do everything in 15 years, but this is not the case. The'meta universe' field is also facing this situation. Although it is constantly developing, it is still far away from us, because some parts need to be greatly improved. For example, if we want to conduct video conferences in the “meta universe”, then There is a need for better communications, such as 5G or even 6G communications, but it will take time to achieve these. In addition, there may be computational problems."

  Another challenge is that virtual reality equipment needs to be improved.

Raya said: "Facebook and Apple have announced their next-generation glasses, which will become more comfortable and more affordable in a year or two."

  He warned: "Moreover, building a better'meta universe' requires a lot of talents. If no one can program, develop and design in virtual reality, the'meta universe' will not appear. And the cooperation between the companies is realized. Standardization will be the most time-consuming part."

  Corcoles emphasized the importance of adapting the company's projects to user preferences.

He explained: "Facebook's'Meta universe' imitates reality as much as possible. This has a positive side, but it is not necessarily a good idea to switch everything to the virtual reality world. In addition to the economic costs involved, the first visit to'Meta universe' People in the universe may be very unaccustomed. As more and more people enter the "meta universe" and more and more related research, perhaps the company will make major adjustments to adapt to the preferences of more people."

  Of course, the researchers pointed out that after a pandemic, society’s acceptance of “meta universe” will be higher, because “the pandemic has allowed us to better understand the value of technology in our world, and telepresence is a “meta The universe's great temptation to us."

  Experts believe that in the five years Zuckerberg mentioned, the application of "meta universe" will be limited to the fields of technology, science, work and leisure.

At this moment, Silicon Valley giants are scrambling to take out the checkbook in order to become the first pioneers to conquer the "meta universe", but this will be the next technological revolution or just forgotten like the game "Second Life" Virtual space, we will wait and see.

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