“The metaverse” is poised for growth in 2022 as Facebook parent Meta, Apple, Microsoft and Google prepare to release new hardware products and software services in what has until now been a niche market for early adopters.
“Metaverses” describe the use of software and hardware that allows users to play or work in virtual three-dimensional spaces or integrate information from the internet into the real world in real-time. Supporters anticipate that in the future, improved virtual reality headsets or augmented reality glasses will be utilized to access the metaverse.
Apple released the touchscreen smartphone in 2007, paving the path for the world’s largest new software market ever since. Tech corporations are expecting that gadgets that transport consumers into improved or fictional worlds will generate new revenue. If the metaverse takes off, perhaps everyone with a smartphone will also have a pair of computer glasses or a virtual reality headset in a few years.
In a December note, Goldman Sachs analyst Eric Sheridan wrote that big tech platforms are now looking to augmented reality as the next computing platform shift. According to his comments, this will be the “next logical shift in consumer behavior” that will create new industry leaders.
Currently, companies are pouring millions of dollars into prototypes and foundational technologies in preparation for a virtual market battle once their products hit the shelves.
Based on Crunchbase, venture capitalists invested $10 billion in virtual world start-ups in 2021, excluding investment from big tech companies. Giving an example of the Meta CEO. CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that Meta’s spending on VR and AR in 2021 resulted in a $10 billion loss.
Listed below are the major technology names and what they’re expected to release next year:
Meta plans to release a new virtual reality headset this year called Project Cambria. The device, according to Facebook, will have hardware that enables “mixed reality” or presenting a real-world image to a VR user.
Meta has acquired several companies that create top-ranked Oculus apps including Supernatural, a health-and-fitness game that allows users to hit floating blocks while synchronized with a beat.
Apple has been laying the groundwork for a new product category by introducing iPhones equipped with Lidar sensors, which can measure distances to objects – critical for applications that use location information.
Cook said in September that Apple won’t call it “metaverse.” “I’m staying away from buzzwords. We’ll just call it augmented reality,” he said.
Despite not having as many products or publicly announced technologies as its competitors, Google has started to get serious about augmented reality again. With the introduction of newer AR headsets, the features have become more sophisticated, and the sensors have become better, as well as the processors have become more powerful.
According to a December post by Google’s senior director Mark Lucovsky, a new team has been formed to work on operating systems for augmented reality. Lucovsky previously worked at Meta’s Oculus.
Several Google jobs indicate that this team will be hiring heavily for its upcoming project, which is an “innovative AR device” and will be expanding its AR portfolio.
Microsoft introduced its HoloLens AR headset in 2016, the first fully featured product of a Big Tech company. Even so, consumers are still a long way from using this device on a regular basis.
By 2022, Microsoft expects to release virtual worlds that rely heavily on cloud services. Company officials announced Mesh in March, a technology that allows software companies to build apps that allow different devices to share a single digital reality.
Microsoft is planning to launch these metaverse features in 2022. Its video conference app, Teams, will integrate Mesh later this year. Xbox game support is also being developed, but no release date has been set.
CEO Satya Nadella said in November, “I cannot emphasize how significant this is.”.