Metaverse

Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, many of those in the technology community have imagined a future state of, if not quasi-successor to, the Internet – called the “Metaverse”. Metverse is a vision of the future networking that sounds fantastical. The Metaverse is a collective virtual shared space[1] including the sum of all virtual worlds and the Internet. The idea is to create a space similar to the internet, but one that users (via digital avatars) can walk around inside of and where they can interact with one another in real time. Keeping it simple, the metaverse is a potentially vast three-dimensional online world where people can meet up and interact virtually.

The metaverse was originally conceived as the setting for dystopian science fiction novels, where virtual universes provide an escape from crumbling societies. Now, the idea has transformed into a moonshot goal for Silicon Valley, and become a favorite talking point among startups, venture capitalists and tech giants. Imagine a world where you could sit on the same couch as a friend who lives thousands of miles away, or conjure up a virtual version of your workplace while at the beach.

Tech titans like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are betting on as the next great leap in the evolution of the internet. Although the full vision for the Metaverse remains hard to define, seemingly fantastical, and decades away, the pieces have started to feel very real. Metaverse has become the newest macro-goal for many of the world’s tech giants. Big companies joining the discussion now may simply want to reassure investors that they won’t miss out on what could be the next big thing, or that their investments in VR, which has yet to gain broad commercial appeal, will eventually pay off.

‘Metaverse’: the next internet revolution? article tells that metaverse is the stuff of science-fiction: the term was coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash”, in which people don virtual reality headsets to interact inside a game-like digital world.

Facebook Wants Us to Live in the Metaverse
. According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg “What is the metaverse? It’s a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces. You can kind of think of this as an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at.” Metaverse vision was the driver behind Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR and its newly announced Horizon virtual world/meeting space, among many, many other projects, such as AR glasses and brain-to-machine communications. In a high-tech plan to Facebookify the world advertisements will likely be a key source of revenue in the metaverse, just as they are for the company today.

Term Metaverse was created by sci-fi author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 dystopian novel “Snow Crash” to describe a virtual space where people interact with one another through user-controlled avatars. That “Snow Crash” novel coined the termsMetaverse” and “Avatar”.

Venture capitalist Matthew Ball has also written extensively on what he believes are the main attributes of a metaverse: a full-functioning economy, real-time persistence (no pausing), and interoperability of digital “belongings” such as clothing across multiple platforms. Experts working in the space tend to agree on a few key aspects of the metaverse, including the idea that users will experience a sense of “embodiment” or “presence.”. Read more at The Metaverse: What It Is, Where to Find it, Who Will Build It, and Fortnite and Big Tech has its eyes set on the metaverse. Here’s what that means

Proponents of the metaverse say there could eventually be huge business potential — a whole new platform on which to sell digital goods and services. If metaverse could be properly realized and catches on some future year, it is believed that metaverse would revolutionize not just the infrastructure layer of the digital world, but also much of the physical one, as well as all the services and platforms atop them, how they work, and what they sell. It is believed that verifiable, immutable ownership of digital goods and currency will be an essential component of the metaverse.

Did you hear? Facebook Inc. is going to become a metaverse company. At least that’s the story its management wants everyone to believe after a flurry of interviews and announcements over the past couple of weeks. Zuckerberg is turning trillion-dollar Facebook into a ‘metaverse’ company, he tells investors article tells that after release of Facebook’s earnings CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a moment to zoom out and wax on the company’s future goals, specifically calling out his ambitions to turn Facebook into “a metaverse company.”

Some pieces of the metaverse already exist. Services like Fortnite, an online game in which users can compete, socialize and build virtual worlds with millions of other players, can give users an early sense of how it will work. And some people have already spent thousands of dollars on virtual homes, staking out their piece of metaverse real estate.

Who will be big if metaverse catches on. Bloomberg article Who Will Win the Metaverse? Not Mark Zuckerberg or Facebook article claims the social networking giant and its CEO have vast ambitions to dominate the next big thing in computing, but other tech giants are in a better position to turn the hype into reality. Facebook’s actual track record on VR tells a story that has not been very promising. The two critical components needed for companies to take advantage of the opportunities that may arise from any potential metaverse are advanced semiconductors and software tools. Facebook is not strong on either front.

There are many other companies with Metaverse visions. For example Oculus’s technology has been surpassed by smaller competitors such as Valve Index, which offers better fidelity. Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella said last week that his company is working on building the “enterprise metaverse.” Epic Games announced a $1 billion funding round in April to support its metaverse ambitions. Companies like graphics chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) and gaming platform Roblox (RBLX) are also playing Metaverse game.

Despite the current hype cycle, the idea is still amorphous, and a fully functioning metaverse is probably years and billions of dollars away — if it happens at all. Another question is are we emotionally evolved enough for it? There is a host of concerns about how the metaverse could be used or exploited. “Are we safe to start interacting at a more person-to-person level, or are the a**holes still going to ruin it for everybody?” “If you can now replace somebody’s entire reality with an alternate reality, you can make them believe almost anything,”

Keep in mind that the metaverse is a relatively old idea that seems to gain momentum every few years, only to fade from the conversation in lieu of more immediate opportunities. Though “Fortnite” and “Roblox” are often described as precursors to the Metaverse, the most significant precursor to the Metaverse is the internet itself.

633 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple’s Vision Pro headset is hiding yet another XL Lightning plug / Beneath the Vision Pro’s cushioned band is the biggest Lightning plug we’ve seen.
    https://www.theverge.com/2024/2/2/24059678/apple-vision-pro-headset-lightning-plug-ifixit

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Virtuaalitodellisuus helpottaa lasten hoitoahdistusta
    Virtuaalitodellisuus on tehokas keino ohjata potilaan huomio pois stressiä aiheuttavasta toimenpiteestä. Uusi lääkevapaa menetelmä voi helpottaa niin lasten kokemaa rokotusahdistusta kuin hammaslääkärikammoa tai jopa kouluahdistusta, väitöskirjatutkija Ilmari Jyskä Tampereen yliopistosta kirjoittaa. VAPAA LUKUOIKEUS.
    https://www.mustread.fi/artikkelit/virtuaalitodellisuus-helpottaa-lasten-hoitoahdistusta/?fbclid=IwAR39sLlPMR4rPxUVwOXC9vvkXiVR4b7iDj7WG8ioyOdCKihKJknsOiVYfmE_aem_AaZ6NVKdYREtlk6vkhrD4FqcHMwQvPaHIvn-pwQv4G1cekEqfn25eW4B_ttig_Y7PoZneWR7TwcvIKdPOEs2jnl1

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Maailman pienin projektionäyttö valmis AR-laseihin
    https://etn.fi/index.php/13-news/15977-maailman-pienin-projektionaeyttoe-valmis-ar-laseihin

    Itävaltalainen TriLite esitteli puoli vuotta sitten maailman pienimmän projektionäytön, jossa koko järjestelmä sopii alle kuutiosentin tilaan. Nyt yhtiöilmoittaa, että Trixel 3 lasersädeskannerin näytekappaleet ovat lähdössä AR-lasien valmistajille.

    Kuutiosentin moduuliin on koottu näyttöprosessori, ohjauselektroniikka ja TriLiten kehittämä Trajectory Control Module- eli TCM-ohjelmisto. Näin paketti kokoaa yhteen kaikki arviointiin, sovelluskehitykseen ja testaukseen tarvittavat järjestelmätason komponentit.

    TriLiten Trixel 3 – skanneri on maailman pienimmän projektionäyttö. Moduuli painaa alle puolitoista grammaa. Trixel 3:n virrankulutus on erittäin alhainen, alle 320 milliwattia, joten akkutehollakin sitä voidaan ajaa koko päivän ajan. Täysi värituki (>200 % yli sRGB-skaalan) takaa erinomaisen kuvanlaadun.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple Vision Pro’s Secret To Smooth Visuals? Subtly Substandard Optics
    https://hackaday.com/2024/03/21/apple-vision-pros-secret-to-smooth-visuals-subtly-substandard-optics/

    The displays inside the Apple Vision Pro have 3660 × 3200 pixels per eye, but veteran engineer [Karl Guttag]’s analysis of its subtly blurred optics reminds us that “resolution” doesn’t always translate to resolution, and how this is especially true for things like near-eye displays.

    The Apple Vision Pro lacks the usual visual artifacts (like the screen door effect) which result from viewing magnified pixelated screens though optics. But [Karl] shows how this effect is in fact hiding in plain sight: Apple seems to have simply made everything just a wee bit blurry thanks to subtly out-of-focus lenses.

    The thing is, this approach of intentionally de-focusing actually works very well for consuming visual content like movies or looking at pictures, where detail and pixel-to-pixel contrast is limited anyway.

    https://kguttag.com/2024/03/01/apple-vision-pros-optics-blurrier-lower-contrast-than-meta-quest-3/

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Privacy Is Just No Longer a Thing in Augmented Reality? Skepticism mounts over Apple’s modest claims on Vision Pro data
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/apple-vision-pro-privacy

    The Apple Vision Pro teleports you to a parallel universe, one where you can summon apps and flick through web pages with a wave of your hands. It’s a feat made possible by an array of cameras, microphones, and gyroscopes that monitor your every move. And the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant has recently outlined—such as it is—how the company’s famously privacy-forward stance applies to the loads of sometimes quite confidential data the Vision Pro’s many sensors generate as a matter of course.

    Where does that data go, and what could it be used for? The latest wave of interest in augmented reality (AR) makes that a pressing question. But, with trust in technology companies at an all-time low, experts are skeptical tech companies will treat the issue seriously.

    “It’s at least theoretically possible for an AR/VR implementation to mislead you, to make judgements not only about who you are and what you want, but also to manipulate you.”
    —MIKE GODWIN, TECHNOLOGY POLICY ATTORNEY

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Victoria Song / The Verge:
    Meta rolls out multimodal AI in early access for the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, mainly to help identify objects, translate signs, and write Instagram captions — When the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses launched last fall, they were a pretty neat content capture tool and a surprisingly solid pair of headphones.

    https://www.theverge.com/2024/4/23/24138090/ray-ban-meta-smart-glasses-ai-wearables

    Victoria Song / The Verge:
    Meta’s Ray-Ban Smart Glasses get support for video calling via WhatsApp and Messenger, hands-free Apple Music controls, and a new frame style — Meta just announced a slew of new updates for its Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses. CEO Mark Zuckerberg just dropped an Instagram reel showing off …

    https://www.theverge.com/2024/4/23/24138228/ray-ban-meta-smart-glasses-wearables-ai-apple-music

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ming-Chi Kuo:
    Sources: Apple cut 2024 Vision Pro shipments to 400K-450K units, vs. a 700K+ market consensus, and US demand has “fallen sharply beyond expectations” — My latest survey is as follows: — Apple has cut its 2024 Vision Pro shipments to 400-450k units (vs. market consensus of 700-800k units or more).

    https://medium.com/@mingchikuo/apple-cuts-2024-2025-vision-pro-shipment-forecasts-unfavorable-to-mr-headset-pancake-and-micro-38796834f930

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple Vision Pro
    Sales per store are down “to just a handful in a whole week.” https://trib.al/JEeIYlo

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wesley Hilliard / AppleInsider:
    Tim Cook says half of the Fortune 100 companies have purchased Apple Vision Pro units

    Apple Vision Pro a big hit in enterprise
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/24/05/02/apple-vision-pro-a-big-hit-in-enterprise

    During the Apple earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared that half of Fortune 100 companies have purchased Apple Vision Pro units.

    Apple Vision Pro is the first spatial computer from Apple and has proven to be a controversial entry in the product lineup. It launched in February 2024, and very little has been shared about how it is selling.

    There isn’t a line item in Apple’s earnings for Apple Vision Pro, but CEO Tim Cook shared a tidbit of interest during the Q2 earnings call. He said Apple Vision Pro has been purchased by half of Fortune 100 companies.

    Enterprise markets have been a target by competing headsets like the now defunct Microsoft Hololens. Despite the expected pundit dismissal of Apple Vision Pro as a glorified dev tool, it seems to have at least penetrated the enterprise.

    Later in the call, CFO Luca Maestri revealed some of the enterprise uses for Apple Vision Pro. Those include Aircraft engine design at KLM Airlines, team collaboration at Porsche, and kitchen design at Lowe’s.

    It is also being used to develop spatial computing apps for the platform. We’ve already seen apps from companies like Gucci that take advantage of Vision Pro features.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sean Hollister / The Verge:
    Microsoft announces the developer preview of Windows Volumetric Apps, giving access to an API that lets devs put Windows apps in 3D space on Meta Quest headsets — You can already beam your flat Windows desktop and its VR games onto your Meta Quest headset — but what if Windows could send HoloLens …

    Microsoft is bringing ‘Windows Volumetric Apps’ to Meta Quest headsets
    / Details are slim, but an API is nigh.
    https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/21/24161817/microsoft-windows-volumetric-apps-meta-quest-api

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Beyond AI, Davuluri also sees a future for Windows being streamed to devices instead of running locally on them. Microsoft has been working toward this with its Windows 365 service. “We’re going to make Windows cloud native. We’re making a big push for Windows 365,” he says.

    Microsoft shared an example of Windows being streamed to Meta Quest headsets during its Build keynote, with new “Windows Volumetric Apps” streaming HoloLens-like 3D apps and digital objects to a VR headset. This type of experience is designed for designers and people working with CAD drawings right now, but Davuluri sees a future where having Windows cloud native could change operating systems just as much as he thinks AI will.

    https://www.theverge.com/24162953/microsoft-pavan-davuluri-windows-surface-interview

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    https://www.uusiteknologia.fi/2024/06/04/metaversumin-trendit-esille-tampereella/

    Tampereen kaupunki kerää ensi viikolla uusista virtuaaliteknologioista kiinnostuneet katsastamaan tulevaisuuden metaversumin mahdollisuuksiin. Messu- ja kongressitapahtuma Imagine the Metaverse 2024 järjestetään 11.-12. kesäkuuta Tampereen messu- ja urheilukeskuksessa.

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple Patches Vision Pro Vulnerability Used in Possibly ‘First Ever Spatial Computing Hack’

    Apple has released a visionOS update that patches CVE-2024-27812, which may be the first flaw specific to the VR headset.

    https://www.securityweek.com/apple-patches-vision-pro-vulnerability-used-in-first-ever-spatial-computing-hack/

    Apple on Monday updated visionOS, the operating system powering its Vision Pro virtual reality headset, to version 1.2, which addresses several vulnerabilities, including what may be the first security flaw that is specific to this product.

    visionOS 1.2 patches nearly two dozen vulnerabilities. However, a vast majority of them are in components that visionOS shares with other Apple products, such as iOS, macOS and tvOS.

    Apple on Monday released the new visionOS security advisory and also updated iOS, macOS, and other advisories initially published in May to add the CVEs from the visionOS advisory.

    The vulnerabilities can lead to arbitrary code execution, information disclosure, privilege escalation, and denial of service (DoS).

    The vulnerability that stands out is CVE-2024-27812. This appears to be the only CVE that is specific to the Vision Pro headset, as it’s not listed in the advisories for any Apple product other than visionOS.

    According to Apple, CVE-2024-27812 is related to the processing of specially crafted web content and exploitation can lead to a DoS condition.

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
    A look at Apple’s plans for Vision headsets and AR glasses, M4 Macs, reasons for limiting Apple Intelligence to the latest iPhones and delaying it in the EU — The Apple Vision Pro has gotten off to a slow start, spurring management to rethink its plans for the device.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2024-06-23/apple-vision-plans-cheaper-model-in-late-2025-vision-pro-2-in-2026-ar-glasses-lxrjk6wu

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ransomware
    Meta’s Virtual Reality Headset Vulnerable to Ransomware Attacks: Researcher

    Researcher shows how hackers could use social engineering to deliver ransomware and other malware to Meta’s Quest 3 VR headset.

    https://www.securityweek.com/metas-virtual-reality-headset-vulnerable-to-ransomware-attacks-researcher/

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bats Can No Longer Haunt Apple VR Headsets Via Web Exploit
    https://hackaday.com/2024/06/26/bats-can-no-longer-haunt-apple-vr-headsets-via-web-exploit/

    The World’s First Spatial Computing Hack
    I finally found a bug that literally fills your room full of bugs.
    https://www.ryanpickren.com/vision-pro-hack

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
    NFT and metaverse content creation startup Infinite Reality raised $350M at a $5.1B valuation and acquires Roblox game developer Landvault for $450M in stock

    Infinite Reality raises $350M and acquires Landvault for $450M
    https://venturebeat.com/games/infinite-reality-raises-350m-and-acquires-landvault-for-450m/

    Infinite Reality, the company working on metaverse-like technologies, has raised $350 million and acquired Roblox game developer Landvault for $450 million.

    The deal shows how much financial velocity Infinite Reality has gathered, as its valuation has now advanced to $5.1 billion as the company focuses on immersive platform and enterprise service technologies.

    So far this year, New York-based Infinite Reality has spent more than $800 million in stock on previous acquisitions including the purchase of The Drone Racing League ($250 million), Ethereal Engine ($75 million), Action Face ($10 million) and Stakes ($8 million).

    Infinite Reality said it raised its $350 million minority investment from a private multi-family office focused on global technology, media, and real estate, elevating the company’s valuation to $5.1 billion. Infinite Reality has about 140 employees, while Landvault has just 36.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Maailman pienin kamera seuraa silmää XR-laseissa
    https://etn.fi/index.php/13-news/16394-maailman-pienin-kamera-seuraa-silmaeae-xr-laseissa

    Piilaaksolainen Omnivision on esitellyt AR-, VR- ja XR-laseihin tähän asti pienimmän kameran, joka seuraa silmän ja kasvojen liikkeitä. OG0TC-kenno on kooltaan 1,64 x 1,64 millimetriä eli alle kolme neliömilliä.

    OG0TC on taustavalaistu globaalin sulkimen kenno, joka valottaa jokaisen pikselin yhdellä kertaa. Kennon myötä Omnivision tuo ensimmäistä kertaa patentoidun DCG High Dynamic Range- eli HDR-teknologiansa markkinoille näin pienessä pikselikoossa (2,2 mikronia).

    Vain 1,64 x 1,64 millimetrin kotelossa OG0TC-kenno sopii ensisijaisesti sisäänpäin suuntautuvien seurantakameroiden optimointiin. Pieni koko on iso etu, sillä XR-laseissa tarvitaan useita kameroita kaikkien kasvojen piirteiden (silmien, kulmakarvojen, huulien jne.) seuraamiseen. OG0TC on nastoitukseltaan yhteensopiva Omnivisionin edellisen sukupolven GS-kuvakennon kanssa, joten vanhat asiakkaat voivat päivittää suunnittelunsa helposti.

    1/14.46″ B&W 160 Kpixel (400 x 400) CMOS Image Sensor with PureCel®Plus‑S, Global Shutter, and Nyxel® Technologies
    https://www.ovt.com/products/og0tc1b/

    World’s Smallest, Lowest-Power Global Shutter Image Sensor for AR/VR/MR Tracking Cameras

    The OG0TC1B BSI global shutter (GS) image sensor for eye and face tracking in AR/VR/MR consumer headsets and glasses features on-chip single exposure DCG™ technology for ghost-free HDR imaging. It consumes less than 40% of the power at 30 fps compared with the previous-generation sensor and is pin-to-pin compatible for easy upgrades.

    With a package size of just 1.64 mm x 1.64 mm, the OG0TC1B is an ultra-small, low-power image sensor for optimizing primarily inward-facing tracking cameras. It features a 2.2 µm pixel built on PureCel®Plus-S stacked-die technology. Nyxel® technology enables the best QE at the 940 nm NIR wavelength for sharp, accurate images of moving objects and the sensor’s high MTF enables sharper images with greater contrast and more detail.

    The 400 x 400 resolution GS sensor supports a flexible interface, including MIPI with multi-drop and CPHY.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Vlad Savov / Bloomberg:
    IDC estimates that Apple will sell under 500K Vision Pro units in 2024, and the headset’s international launch will offset a 75% QoQ drop in US sales in Q3 2024 — – The pricey headset’s US sales are expected to plummet — A more affordable model in a year’s time should help momentum

    Apple’s Vision Pro Won’t Cross 500,000 Sales This Year, IDC Says
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-07-11/apple-s-vision-pro-won-t-cross-500-000-sales-this-year-idc-says

    The pricey headset’s US sales are expected to plummet
    A more affordable model in a year’s time should help momentum

    Apple Inc.’s biggest new product in years is not expected to shake off its slow sales start until the release of a cheaper model next year.

    The $3,500 Vision Pro mixed-reality headset has yet to sell 100,000 units in a quarter since its launch in the US in February, and it faces a 75% drop in domestic sales in the current quarter, according to market tracker IDC.

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft is discontinuing Windows Mixed Reality / Microsoft added the mixed reality platform to a list of deprecated Windows features
    https://www.theverge.com/2023/12/21/24010787/microsoft-windows-mixed-reality-deprecated

    Reply

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