The Future Of The Metaverse: What 2022 Has In Store For The Immersive Digital World – Forbes

January 24, 2022 by No Comments

The metaverse was on everyone’s lips in 2021. To take the leap toward to its next stage of … [+] evolution, it will need to tackle a number of frontiers in the new year. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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The last year saw the metaverse go from literary text rumination to limitless tech reality. First referenced in a 1992 science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson and then picked up in other sci-fi settings like Ready Player One, the metaverse is an immersive, digital alternative to the physical world, where virtual avatars come together to work, pursue hobbies, shop, play, or otherwise gather to engage in online communities and explore the digital space. The term formally entered the mainstream realm when Facebook rebranded itself to Meta Platforms Inc. (now widely referred to as Meta) in October 2021 in an effort to leap beyond its social media roots and signal a broader agenda around “the next chapter of the Internet”.

The concept remains elusive to both onlookers and industry veterans, not least because the companies that are building the metaverse say it will take years and billions of dollars to realize. This new year, however, will already see the metaverse become more concrete, as it pushes to prove its promised potential. For the metaverse to mature to its next stage of development, players in the space will need to tackle three frontiers: securing skilled talent, making decisive investment moves, and pushing the boundaries on innovative experiences.

Securing skilled talent

Meta is recruiting aggressively from a number of sources, including Silicon Valley neighbor Apple and fellow West Coast tech behemoth Microsoft, from which it has poached most of the 100 people who departed from HoloLens augmented reality headset team last year. Though sales were slow to take off, Microsoft’s HoloLens was one of the first movers in the AR space, making its staffers particularly desirable fare at the metaverse talent market. Meta has also announced it would hire 10,000 engineers in Europe alone to build this next Internet frontier. Making real on their pledge to score AR/VR specialists in a market already starved for tech talent will be a challenge.

Despite being one of the most prominent and outspoken proponents of the metaverse, Meta is by far not the only one. Chip maker Nvidia has turned its focus on the metaverse as well, only they are calling it “omniverse”. With Omniverse Enterprise, Nvidia has set up a subscription service that lets creators, designers and others collaborate in a shared online simulation platform. BMW, for instance, is using Omniverse Enterprise as part of its smart manufacturing efforts to simulate their manufacturing operations. Meanwhile Nvidia’s need for skilled omniverse engineers intensifies, seeing how chips are the lifeblood to power the metaverse, its graphics and animation.

Other candidates for a front-row seat in the metaverse are the gaming companies that have long been pioneering immersive online experiences. Platforms like Roblox and Epic Games’ hit Fortnite have already curated large followings and in-game online economies, positioning them well to capitalize now. The problem lies not in gaming companies’ inability to motivate video game enthusiasts to play, but in their struggle to find skilled talent to hire, exacerbating the recruiting battle.

Making decisive investment moves

Gaming companies have recently hit the headlines with another metaverse-induced trend: moves for consolidation. A few days ago Microsoft announced plans to acquire …….



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