Metaverse: Big Tech firms are banking that gadgets that transport their users into improved or fictional worlds would create the largest new software industry .
As Facebook parent Meta, Apple, Microsoft, and Google prepare to offer new hardware products and software services in what has previously been a niche market for early adopters, 2022 is shaping up to be the largest year yet for “the metaverse.”
The term “metaverse” refers to software and gear that enable users to play or work in virtual 3-D worlds, as well as to extract information from the internet and merge it with the real world in real-time. For the time being, the metaverse may be accessed by smartphone, but supporters believe it will soon be experienced via advanced virtual reality or augmented reality headsets.
Big Tech firms are banking that gadgets that transport their users into improved or fictional worlds would create the largest new software industry since Apple released the touchscreen smartphone in 2007. If the metaverse takes off, it’s possible that everyone who owns a smartphone today will also own a pair of computer glasses or a virtual reality headset in a few years.
In a December note, Goldman Sachs analyst Eric Sheridan stated, “Large tech platforms (which benefited from the rise of mobile computing apps) now look toward augmented reality as the next computing platform change.” He believes it is the “next logical shift in purchasing patterns” and will usher in new industry leaders.
Companies are putting money into prototypes and underlying technology in preparation for a virtual struggle when their products hit the market.
According to Crunchbase, venture capitalists would invest $10 billion in virtual world start-ups in 2021, not including Big Tech budgets. For example, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that the firm spent so much money on virtual reality and augmented reality in 2021 that it reduced the company’s profit by $10 billion.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs estimate that up to $1.35 trillion will be invested in developing these technologies in the next years.