As we have written, the Metaverse is in its early stages. Experts have compared where the Metaverse is today to the internet in the 1970s. Investing in the Metaverse is also in its early stages. However, if you want to get in on the ground floor for maximum profits now is when you want to pay attention. With that in mind we are looking at progress toward a workable Metaverse, how companies can get in early and where investors should be looking today.
Facebook Becomes Meta
The rebranding of Facebook to become Meta brought the Metaverse into the public consciousness. However, the Metaverse has been in the works for quite some time. Decentraland and Sandbox have already been staking out positions in the fledgling Metaverse and Facebook-now-Meta is staking its future on the Metaverse. Forbes looks at this move by Facebook-now-Meta and asks why one of the biggest companies is basing its future on a largely undeveloped and untested technology.
Meta when it was Facebook took over Oculus, a Virtual Reality headset company. For $2 billion they got a head start with the practical technology needed to make the Metaverse usable. Their Meta Reality Lab has been pushing forward with haptic glovers and AR/VR glasses. Their virtual reality “workroom” named Horizon is in beta testing. And they will be using Instagram to promote NFTs from a virtual reality perspective. What they are working toward are seamless extension of reality to augmented reality (AR) and substitution or alternative or virtual reality (VR). The goal is to make the experience indistinguishable for living, breathing experiences. Critical to this goal are haptic gloves that are meant to recreate the sense of texture, weight, and touch and headsets that provide visual experience like in real life.
VR Headsets Need More Work and More Issues for Investors
Oculus is the leader in VR headsets but their product is still not able to the myriad details that the human eye can take in. Another issue is the capability of the internet to carry all of the necessary information to allow for shared VR experiences between users. For there to be the necessary bandwidth for complete use of VR across multiple platforms it will have to be profitable enough for carriers to make the necessary upgrades and keep making them as the Metaverse becomes increasingly complicated. Putting together AR, VR, 5G internet or better, advanced computer programs, and artificial reality will require the likes of Facebook, Google, or Microsoft with the money to make all of the moving parts work together and the technical horsepower to keep it going. However, like with any industry, there are suppliers who need only focus on optimizing and profiting from their piece of the puzzle.
Invest Where There Is Value for Users
Today’s vision of what the Metaverse will be and how it will be used in ten or twenty years is probably wrong, or just partially right. Companies will be well served to consider how they can use the Metaverse as it exists and how they can profitably use it as it evolves. Much of the profits from the Metaverse will likely come from those who use the tools more so than those who create them. Useful approaches will be to consider how metaverse tools can help your business, engage in trial on a small scale, and familiarize yourself with the tools needed to make your steps into the Metaverse a reality. This will be the most expensive part as the tools are likely to improve rapidly over the years making last year’s investments obsolete almost before your people are trained to use them! On one hand if you never get into the game, you may have no chance of winning but on the other hand you could wait until a “plug and play” version is available and save a lot of money and frustration.
Metaverse for Investors
Our take at this point is that you need to pay attention and see who the players are besides Meta and especially the smaller companies who will come up with the best tools like headsets and haptic gloves that can be developed and plugged into a very expensive system that has been developed by someone else. Because the computing power needed for this brave new world will be very great pay attention as well to chip makers who can establish profitable niches in the Metaverse.
Progress Toward a Workable Metaverse – SlideShare Version