Giants get together in the meta universe: Is my future not a dream?

  On December 9, 2021 local time, Meta announced that its VR (virtual reality) world “Horizon Worlds” (“Horizon World”) is officially open to adult users over the age of 18 in the United States and Canada. This is Meta’s most tangible meta-universe at present. product. Before that, on October 28, Facebook (Facebook) CEO (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg suddenly announced that the company was renamed “Meta” to prove its determination to enter the meta universe. Zuckerberg, 37, said: “We hope that in the next ten years, Metaverse will cover 1 billion people, carry hundreds of billions of dollars in digital commerce, and provide employment opportunities for millions of creators and developers.”
  In fact, Many technology giants all over the world have been involved in Metaverse, but the “ruthless” Zuckerberg dared to change the company’s name, and most people really can’t learn it. From Google, Amazon, Yingwei to Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, Netease, ByteDance, etc., it seems that if you don’t touch the “Meta Universe”, you are embarrassed to get mixed up in the technology circle. From hardware to software, from content to applications, these companies are all “staking out horses” in the inexact category of “meta universe”, and the hot spots are full of joy.
  Is the meta-universe where the giants gather, is it a technological breakthrough or a bubble game?
What is the origin of the “Meta Universe First Share” with a market value of 67 billion US dollars?

  Why is the meta universe so hot now? This is inseparable from the American gaming social platform Roblox, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on March 12 this year.
  First of all, Robles, founded in California, USA in 2004, claims to be “the first stock of the meta universe”, because this company has created a “freedom” similar to the Hollywood movie “Free Guy” in 2006. “Free City” or “Oasis” in “Ready Player One”-an online virtual world constructed from Lego-like bricks, it is not just an online character Playing games, users can also design their own games, objects, clothes, and play various games created by themselves or other developers at the same time. In other words, Robles is not engaged in the business of making games, but provides tools and platforms for developers to play freely to create immersive 3D games.
  According to David Baszucki, the co-founder and CEO of Robles, “The game market is huge, and the social experience market may be even larger”. Together, the two are a big cake. This is the original intention of Robles.
  Robles’ operating model is that the platform provides easy-to-use development kits, so that children can pinch out the “mini games” they want; finished games can be uploaded to the platform, and users will like to comment on it like a circle of friends.
  It is worth mentioning that in Robux, everyone has their own digital identity to socialize, and even the Robux currency obtained on the platform can be converted with real currency. In addition, Robles also supports VR devices to enhance the user’s immersion (one of the standard configurations of the future meta-universe).
  In the words of Baszuki: Robles creates things that exist or are impossible in real life, and allows everyone to share and purchase different 3D digital assets. For example, if you want to build a bulldozer, not only can you find a virtual bulldozer on Robles, you can also search for hundreds of models that can be disassembled. Robles is such a platform for imagination.
  In the eyes of the outside world, Rob Lesi’s elements are currently one of the “worlds” closest to the meta-universe-in this virtual society, everyone is a producer and consumer of content, and can use it Blockchain, VR and other technologies realize transactions, social interactions, production and other activities, and the sum of these technologies and virtual world activities is the meta universe.
  In fact, Rob Lesi allows everyone to see the profit prospects of “Meta Universe”-user stickiness + real-time monetization ability. On the one hand, Robles currently has nearly 1 million new games on the shelves every month, and the number of independent visitors exceeds 70 million, mainly children aged 6-12. On the other hand, Robux’s virtual currency Robux has formed a strong economic system-100 Robux can be cashed for 35 cents, and players can buy 100 Robux for 1 U.S. dollar (100 cents), and the difference is 65 cents. It went into Rob Leth’s pocket. In other words, as long as there are enough players, Rob Lesi’s continuous income can be guaranteed.

Robles Corporation, founded in California in 2004, claims to be “the first stock of the universe”.

  This is why Robles, as the “Meta Universe First Share”, has been sought after by the capital market since its listing in March this year. Its stock price has risen by 157%. As of December 10, its market value has reached 67 billion US dollars.
  Robles’ successful model was soon imitated by other companies. Meta (please forget Facebook), who has the courage to change its name, is one of them. On December 9 this year, Meta’s VR social platform “Horizon World” was officially opened to all people in the United States and Canada over 18 years old. Users need to use the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality helmet to create characters. Here, the user is not only a visitor, but also a creator, who can build his own game for everyone to play (familiar formula, familiar taste).
  Some gamers commented that “Horizon World” is an early, small-scale version of the meta-universe imagined by Zuckerberg, combining Robus with the “oasis” in the movie “Ready Player One”. But what makes the players uncomfortable is that entering the “Horizon World” self, there is no lower body. It is said that this is Zuckerberg’s good intentions-always remind the player that this is in the virtual world!
  Under the popularity of the meta-universe concept, some companies hope that players can distinguish between virtual and reality, and some companies spare no effort to attract more players to their platforms. For example, Robles, whose main users are elementary school students, has planned to launch three educational games for junior high school, high school and university students in 2022. Outsiders speculate that the new game seems to be competing with Microsoft’s Minecraft (Chinese name “Minecraft”), which is currently the most popular educational game in the United States.
  The consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicts that the social meta-universe constructed with social as the entry point will form a complete operating ecology, including data, digital goods, and value-added services. As an important factor driving the meta-universe, social interaction is the first stop for the construction of the meta-universe ecology, and the market potential in it is immeasurable.

  The cold-water spectators said that both online games and online education are doing well under the new crown epidemic. And this kind of closed-door social, entertainment or educational model that does not need to go out of the house is a direction of the meta-universe industry. If the new crown epidemic comes to an end or completely ends, will the social, gaming, and education industries under the concept of meta-universe continue to be so hot? This is worth pondering.
In addition to social networking and games, there are many applications

  Although Rob Lesi was temporarily successful, it would be a bit narrow to just think that Metaverse is a “multiplayer online game in a virtual world”. For the majority of technology companies, Metaverse is the entrance or outlet for the development of many industries in the future.
  According to Bloomberg Intelligence (Bloomberg Intelligence), the market size of Metaverse-related businesses will reach US$800 billion in 2024 and will rapidly expand to US$1.5 trillion in 2030. And this only estimates the major markets including online game manufacturers, game hardware, live entertainment and social media.
  Currently, Meta Universe involves seven clear industrial chains: infrastructure, decentralization, human-computer interaction, spatial computing, developer ecology, the improvement of discovery functions such as advertising and content distribution, and the upgrading of gaming, social, video, shopping and other experiences . Ma Jie, vice president of Baidu and head of Greece, believes that the fields of games and entertainment will become important fields of development for Metaverse at the current stage, and office and social networking will be followed up in the future.
  On December 10, 2021, Baidu announced that it would release the Meta universe product “Hirang” on December 27, when Baidu Create 2021 (Baidu AI Developer Conference) will be held in Hirang App. It is reported that this is China’s first conference held in Meta Universe products, which can accommodate 100,000 people interacting on the same screen at the same time.

  Currently, Meta Universe involves seven clear industrial chains: infrastructure, decentralization, human-computer interaction, spatial computing, developer ecology, the improvement of discovery functions such as advertising and content distribution, and the upgrading of gaming, social, video, shopping and other experiences .

  The Greek App is the first “domestic meta-universe” product, creating a permanent multi-person interactive space that spans virtual and reality. Ma Jie said: “At present, Metaverse is still in a very early stage of industrial exploration, and its development is gradual. It will take a long time for the entire community to build and mature together.”
  In fact, Metaverse’s real-time high-brush immersive experience screen The effect and multi-person interaction in the same space require massive computing power and algorithm support, as well as a large amount of research and development investment. Therefore, technical strength will become a key part of the future meta-universe competition. In the process of exploring the next generation of the Internet, Baidu’s endeavor is to become a meta-universe engine, providing AI (artificial intelligence) and cloud computing capabilities for Greece and other meta-universe products.
  It is reported that “Greetings” will achieve technological innovation breakthroughs in the three major areas of vision, hearing and interaction. From December 27th, every user can create an exclusive virtual image, log in to “Hiron” on personal computers, mobile phones, and wearable devices, listen to meetings, go shopping, communicate, and watch exhibitions. If you wear headphones, you can experience the immersive audio and visual effects of 100,000 people in the venue; if you turn on the microphone, you can immediately connect to the microphone and realize multi-person voice communication.
  In a sense, the Omniverse launched by chip giant NVIDIA has initially achieved Baidu’s small goal-the “meta universe engine”, but only in the field of engineering design. This enterprise-oriented real-time simulation and collaboration platform is called the “engineer’s meta-universe”.
  At the GTC (GPU Technology Conference) 2021 held by Nvidia on November 9 this year, Nvidia released NVIDIA Omniverse, a virtual world simulation and collaboration platform for 3D workflows.
  It is reported that the Omniverse platform has two systems, Omniverse Avatar and Omniverse Replicator. The former is a technology platform used to generate interactive AI avatars. It brings together Nvidia’s accumulated technologies in voice AI, computer vision, natural language understanding, recommendation engines and simulation technologies, and opens the door to the creation of artificial intelligence assistants that can help handle billions of daily customer service interactions. The latter is a synthetic data generation engine that can continuously generate synthetic data for training based on existing data.

On April 24, 2020, “Fortnite” staged an “immersive” large-scale concert called “Astronomical” on major servers around the world, attracting more than 27.7 million players to watch it. Aurora, starry sky, beams of light, fireworks and many other elements echoed each other. The anchors and players used words such as “cool” and “burst” to describe the electronic music feast presented in the game.

  Omniverse actually has a beta version as early as October 2020, and many companies including BMW, Ericsson, Volvo, Adobe, and Epic Games are participating. For example, BMW is the first end-to-end car manufacturer to use Omniverse to design the entire factory, which has increased efficiency by 30%. Volvo uses Omniverse for car design.
  Because of the affirmation of many large companies, after the November 9 press conference, Nvidia’s stock price hit a record high, with a market value of $780 billion, ranking seventh in the United States.
  Other tech giants are not to be outdone.
  Huawei officially released XR (Extended Reality) strategy and AR/VR Engine3.0. AR Engine is an engine for building augmented reality applications on Android (Android), including AR Engine service, AR Cloud service and XRKit service. XR Kit is based on AR Engine to provide a scene-based, component-based minimal AR solution Both can realize the integration of the virtual world and the real world, bringing a new interactive experience. According to Huawei’s estimates, by 2025, the AR market will reach 300 billion U.S. dollars and the scale of users will reach 1.2 billion.
  Alibaba, which allows all women to “chop their hands”, established the XR laboratory in late October this year. The content is related to shopping. Tan Ping, head of XR Lab of Alibaba Dharma Academy, believes that Metaverse is the entire Internet on VR/AR glasses. AR/VR glasses are the next-generation mobile computing platform that will soon be popularized, and Meta Universe is the presentation of the Internet industry on this new platform. The scope of meta universe is very broad, including social, e-commerce, education, games, and even payment. Tmall holographic stores and virtual home improvement are all meta-universe formats deployed by Ali.

  And Tencent’s Tianmei Studio is actively recruiting, hoping to launch VR games. In fact, Tencent has already opened a “buy, buy, buy” model when it deployed Metaverse. Take, for example, Soul, which is a 49.9% social software company owned by Tencent Holdings, which is a representative “social meta-universe” product. As early as the beginning of 2021, Soul first proposed the concept of building a “social meta-universe” in the industry. Moving forward, in November 2020, Tencent Music announced a strategic cooperation with VR performance service provider Wave. The national service version of Robles will also be launched on the mainland by Tencent in July 2021.
  The same is true for ByteDance-100 million yuan has been invested in the game company “Code Qiankun” of the meta universe concept. The latter is a mobile game developer and developed the first game, animation development and interactive platform “Restart the World” based on a full physics engine.
  For technology giants with deep pockets, if it is too late to start from scratch, it is also a wise move to directly buy a ready-made company to complete the “dropping” of the metaverse.
  If you have not fully figured out what to do, registering a trademark first may be a stopgap measure. For example, Tencent’s “King Yuan Universe” and “QQ Yuan Universe”, Mi Ha You’s “Mi Universe”, iQiyi’s “Adventure Yuan Universe” and Perfect World’s “End Dollar Universe”, etc. Companies such as Xiaopeng Motors, NetEase, BlueFocus, Baidu, Alibaba, Xiaomi, Xiaohongshu, and Ideal Motors have submitted applications for meta-universe trademarks to relevant departments.
  Even Luo Yonghao, who was carrying the goods, announced his entry into the meta universe. He said on Weibo, “Our next entrepreneurial project is a so-called meta universe company.” As for what it was, Lao Luo didn’t say, and everyone didn’t bother to ask.
The new infrastructure era of meta universe

  In fact, at the same time as the creation of a meta-universe platform or a hot spot for everyone to rub meta-universe, hardware construction is also very important, otherwise it will become a “wood without roots.”
  Baidu has already declared that it will continue to provide infrastructure support for its partners to do a good job in the new infrastructure of Metaverse. In Baidu’s view, a large number of calculations require extremely high terminal performance. The advancement and popularization of 5G, cloud computing, AI and other underlying technologies are the key to Metaverse entering the popularization period. In recent years, Baidu has gradually improved its layout in VR core technology, content and service platforms, and industry solutions. It is one of the first domestic technology companies to put “Meta Universe” into application.
  Also “walking on two legs” is Meta. Beginning in the fourth quarter of this year, Zuckerberg has divided the hardware department “Reality Lab” into an independent department, and plans to spend about $10 billion in the next year to develop the technology needed to build the meta-universe. Zuckerberg once revealed his plan for investing in Metaverse at the financial report conference-selling equipment as cheaply as possible, and focusing on making money through Metaverse’s own business and advertising.

Meta virtual world application “Horizon Worlds” is released. Users need to use Oculus virtual reality helmets to create characters and interact with people in games and meetings. The strange thing is that all characters have only the upper body.

  ByteDance also lays out the hardware field related to the meta universe.
  At the end of August 2021, ByteDance acquired VR software and hardware manufacturer Pico at a premium of nearly 9 times and USD 1.5 billion, and Tencent was also one of the potential acquirers at that time. The Internet Data Center (IDC) report shows that Pico will rank first in China’s domestic VR all-in-one market in 2020, with a market share of 57.8% in the fourth quarter of 2020. The acquisition of Pico is considered by many to be ByteDance hoping to use its own resources to cultivate a leading VR/AR company and expand the domestic VR/AR market.
  ByteDance also invested in Guangzhou Semiconductor earlier, and the specific amount was not disclosed. Public information shows that Guangzhou Semiconductor was established in January 2020 and is headquartered in Shenzhen. It was co-founded by VR/AR optics expert Zhu Yisheng and scientist Chu Daping, focusing on diffractive optics and semiconductor micro-nano processing technology, design And mass-produced AR display optical chips and modules, and it also owns semiconductor AR glasses hardware products.
  In addition, ByteDance also has a layout in the underlying technology. It has invested in AI chip design company Sim Computing and GPU chip design company Moore Thread, etc., to develop new infrastructure of the Universe in multiple directions.
  ByteDance also holds a stake in Zhongqu (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd., which is a cloud service provider of VR digital twin (simulating and cloning objects in a certain range of the physical world through data methods), which specializes in 3D real-world reconstruction. It is reported that Zhongqu Technology mainly provides the most basic spatial data, shooting with an ordinary third-party panoramic camera, and building a 3D spatial model in the cloud. Gao Xiang, the founder of Zhongqu Technology, said: “It is to build meta universe infrastructure from a digital twin room, a building to the entire universe.”
  In terms of funding, Bytedance has raised $1 billion for the development of meta universe. The constantly escalating Internet giants are seeking their own meta-universe platform in competition. Regarding the competition for new infrastructure of the meta universe, the curtain has gradually risen.
Japan and South Korea grab the beach “Meta Universe”

  Except for the United States and China, Japan and South Korea are the most lively sources in the meta universe industry.
  The technical layout of the Japanese Yuan universe direction is mainly based on VR hardware equipment and game ecology. For example, Sony and VR developer Hasilas own the Playstation host system and game ecosystem, and its global sales of PlayStation VR ranks among the top three in the industry. In addition, Sony will invest in Epic Games twice in 2020-2021, and has a layout in technology such as Unreal Engine. Sony also launched “Dreams Universe”, where users can create 3D games, make videos, and share them to the UGC (User Generated Content) community.
  At the application level, backed by a solid ACG (animation, manga, and game) foundation, Japan is fully integrating the meta-universe world with anime characters to achieve a better virtualization effect.
  Previously, in the “Animal Crossing” game released by Nintendo, each user occupies a deserted island, can visit other users’ islands, and can design their own clothes, signs and other props. This is similar to the American Robles.
  On August 5 this year, Avex Business Development and Digital Motion established Vitual Avex, planning to promote existing animation or game characters, hold virtual artist activities, and virtualize activities such as real artist concerts.
  In addition, extending from application scenarios such as entertainment, Japan has now applied corresponding technologies in areas such as performances and conferences.
  Performing in the meta universe is nothing new. In August of this year, Robles invited BMG rapper KSI, one of the world’s top five record companies, to hold a virtual concert on the platform, which attracted 17 million visits. Subsequently, the American alternative rock band Twenty One Pilots (“Twenty One Pilots”), which won the Grammy “Best Pop Group/Cooperation Award”, also held a virtual concert on the platform, attracting users from more than 160 countries in total. 1 million hours of viewing, while approximately 14 million users have purchased a combined virtual peripheral.

  In Baidu’s view, a large number of calculations require extremely high terminal performance. The advancement and popularization of 5G, cloud computing, AI and other underlying technologies are the key to Metaverse entering the popularization period.

  In South Korea, politics and business circles pay much attention to the meta universe. Why are some relevant government departments also actively participating in it? Metaverse research expert Matthew Ball once judged: “Metaverse is a concept at the same level as the mobile Internet.” Therefore, South Korea’s fear of being left behind by China and Japan in terms of meta universe is understandable.
  On the one hand, the South Korean government takes the lead in establishing the “Metacosm Alliance”, which aims to build a metacosmic ecosystem under the leadership of the private sector through cooperation between the government and enterprises. At the same time, the Korean Digital New Deal launched a digital content industry cultivation support program, with a total investment of 202.4 billion won, of which XR content development support 47.3 billion won, digital content development support 15.6 billion won, and XR content industry infrastructure construction 23.1 billion won.
  The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced on November 3 this year that it will establish a Metaverse platform “Metaverse Seoul”, planning to provide urban public services in a virtual world. According to Yonhap News Agency, the project plans to cost 3.9 billion won. The Seoul Metropolitan Government stated that “Muniverse Seoul” will gradually realize the virtualization of citizens and corporate services, such as holding a virtual New Year’s Eve ceremony, setting up a virtual mayor’s office, and providing virtual services for financial technology, investment and “University Town” projects.
  On the other hand, in the Korean business community, related companies have been in the field of Metaverse technology for many years.
  For example, the ZEPETO social product launched by Snow in South Korea currently has 200 million users. Among them, 90% are from overseas, and 80% of users are teenagers in their 10s. In September 2020, a virtual autograph session of Korean idol “BLACKPINK” was held on ZEPETO, and more than 40 million people participated. ZEPETO also launched virtual products jointly with fashion brands such as Gucci, Nike, Supreme and other fashion brands.
  In fact, today’s fashion brands are not only entering the meta universe in Korea. Vans announced in September this year that it will launch “Vans World” in collaboration with Robles. This is a virtual world with the theme of skateboarding. Users can customize their skateboards and shoes, purchase virtual goods and wear them in other game scenes. “Vans World” was widely acclaimed as soon as it was launched, with 40 million visits in the first month. Not to be outdone, Nike announced the launch of “Nike World” in Robles in November this year, with built-in sports-themed games and providing users with the latest sneakers that can be tried on.
  In a sense, the business model of the U.S., Japan, and South Korea won universe industry is richer than that of Chinese companies. If the future meta-universe, as Matthew Bauer judged, “becomes a platform for the entire human being’s leisure, labor, and survival,” then domestic companies need to speed up.

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