Since the wind of metaverse blew this year, the wave of metaverse has swept all walks of life and streets in just a few months. As of today, according to Tianyan survey data, the number of applications for metaverse related trademarks has exceeded 4400, and the number of enterprises applying for metaverse related trademarks has exceeded 700.
Now, the giants are not “metaverse”, but on the way to metaverse. Facebook was renamed meta, NVIDIA launched the virtual space collaboration platform Omniverse, Nike established a “Nike paradise” on roblox, and global technology giants are running into metaverse to launch their own layout and competition.
For more than half a year, people have different opinions on what metaverse is, but it is undeniable that immersion is a key link in the construction of metaverse world and an important existence like air. At this year’s awe2021 conference, mad gaze was the founder & CEO Mr. Zheng Wenhui said that AR / VR terminal belongs to the human-computer interaction layer and carrier, runs through the whole metaverse industry chain and is the first entrance of metaverse. Due to its lightweight and portable characteristics, AR smart glasses will also become a substitute for smart phones in the future. Through ar smart glasses, users can make friends, entertainment, trade, study and work in metaverse, and obtain a deep immersion experience similar to the “number one player”.
The debate over whether Metaverse is a bubble or a draft has aroused wide and heated discussions in various circles. While giants and capital are betting on metaverse, new terms such as “social metaverse”, “music metaverse” and “game metaverse” have emerged one after another, and even metaverse paid courses are selling hot. Nowadays, when Metaverse tags are flooded, what are the bubbles and which are the key keys of the Metaverse world?
In this issue of “mad gaze round table discussion”, we are honored to invite three XR experts in different fields to discuss the topic of metaverse.
This year is called the first year of metaverse. The concept of metaverse is too hot. Facebook was renamed meta some time ago. Technology giants such as Microsoft, NVIDIA and Tencent scrambled to announce their entry into the field of metaverse. But they all have their own views on what metaverse is. In your opinion, how should metaverse be defined?
Li Wei: the concept of metaverse is difficult to be qualitative. There are different views in narrow sense and broad sense. Personally, I think metaverse may simply understand that people live and work in a new digital world with a high degree of freedom with a new digital identity. There can be multiple metaverse, which may be related to the real world or irrelevant to the real world, but personally, metaverse irrelevant to the real world is more like a game.
Metaverse’s value rules and legal rules are jointly formulated by all people involved in the universe, so the degree of freedom of these rules is very high, but I personally think the bottom line of these rules will eventually intersect with the rules of the real world, so as to ensure the sustainable development of metaverse. After all, metaverse’s identity is a digital identity, and the human body carrier should be based on the real society.
He Wancheng: now the concept of metaverse is still in the stage of extensive discussion and no consensus has been reached. Tiktok: I personally believe that in our upcoming 5G era, the narrow sense of Metaverse will be the new content platform of the next-generation Internet, which is guided by VR/AR’s core hardware. Just like the micro-blog 3G, WeChat friends circle, the quiver and Kwai of 4G video age, Metaverse is the content platform and the traffic Plateau of 5G 3D era. In the 5g era, metaverse has five core features: virtual identity, immersive experience, open creation, economic system and pluralistic society. At present, the concept of metaverse has begun to be generalized. In the 5g era, the broad concept of metaverse refers to the next generation Internet after the mobile Internet, but I personally prefer to call the next generation Internet Quanzhen Internet.
Liang Kai: the concept of metaverse suddenly became very popular. And different companies and individuals are actively bringing their business closer to this big concept. Therefore, we do all kinds of AI applications at one time, including voice recognition, IOT, blockchain, game, chip, e-commerce, etc. anyway, different people say that their company belongs to metaverse concept stocks.
I think no matter who defines metaverse, everyone will agree that XR technology and services must be a core part of the concept of metaverse. My personal focus is how to make good use of XR technology to bring new value to education and training. In this regard, I have made good progress through my efforts in MEL science, xspaces, immerse.io, wild immersion and cospaces. I also have deepened communication and cooperation with meta (new Facebook), Microsoft, Tencent and other companies through the business of these companies. I think these companies can provide wonderful vertical content in metaverse concepts and services, as well as training platforms for large companies. This is the value I can bring to this industry. As for how to define the concept, I don’t think I care very much. More people pay attention to this concept, which shows that we are all willing to find innovation and breakthrough. This is definitely a good thing.
Now capital is in pursuit of the concept of Metaverse, but recently, many media and the public have said that this concept is only a public opinion bubble. Many of the needed technological infrastructure still needs to be developed, but practitioners in many industries hold a more optimistic attitude. Which industries or fields do you think metaverse is really good for, and which industries are just “rubbing the heat” hype?
Li Wei: metaverse involves a wide range of industries and fields, such as basic AR / VR devices, interactive devices, blockchain technology, communication technology, image rendering technology, AI technology, computing and storage technology, metaverse application development, etc.
However, because the concept of metaverse is very popular now, some games are still centrally controlled games in essence, and some degrees of freedom are labeled as metaverse when they are slightly open. However, it is still in the early stage of metaverse, which can not achieve the expected effect, and it must take a long time to finally achieve it.
He Wancheng: the core opportunity for Internet generation comes from the update and iteration of general equipment terminals. In the 5g era, what is really good under the broad concept of metaverse is the XR industrial chain, including upstream core parts, XR terminals, XR development tools, creative tools and XR social networking, XR live broadcasting and XR applications and solutions in various scenarios. For some non-3d metaverse social or game platforms, they are essentially products of the graphic era, which are suspected of rubbing the concept.
Liang Kai: as senior practitioners in the field of VR or XR, we have experienced a process in which many people believe that VR education is a false proposition, but today we all very much recognize the value of VR education. The hardware of AR and Mr must still need to be improved. The hardware with strong investment and R & D such as apple and Facebook have not appeared, but they are in progress. Therefore, we can be sure that there is a lot of room for growth in the whole XR field, both in terms of hardware effect and computing power, as well as supporting content and applications. However, VR has now become a tool and method frequently used by many major brands in the world in the field of education and training, including SAP, Accenture, shell, Ge, Facebook, BP, GSK and so on. Xspaces, founded by my friends and I, is also doing a lot of innovation in metaverse art experience. So I think the application of education, training, cultural creation, brand, exhibition, marketing and other fields will definitely break out further soon. For the large-scale application of artificial intelligence, Internet of things, digital twin and blockchain technologies, I think it may take a little longer to combine with XR technology, but I am also very optimistic about these possibilities. I am also a business person, so I always think a reasonable “rub heat” is a technical job. Whether it is hype or not really depends on different angles of specific things. As long as it can bring sustainable value to customers and the market, it is a good thing. The passion of entrepreneurs is unstoppable.
Where is the biggest imagination space of metaverse in the future? What are its main application scenarios or values for users? What is the market space for enterprises?
Li Wei: what attracts metaverse most is its high degree of freedom. Everyone can participate in formulating the rules of the world in their own capacity. For users, they can experience different lives in a new world, and may even get a full-time job in metaverse to ensure their real social life needs. There will be a new model for the future business development, negotiation, remote work cooperation and after-sales of enterprises.
He Wancheng: don’t think about things too far away. In the next 5-10 years, I think the biggest imagination space lies in the iteration of our general information terminal and the iteration of the content platform. For XR manufacturers, the potential annual shipment scale in the future is expected to reach the current level of smart phones, that is, the annual shipment exceeds 1 billion units and the output value exceeds 3 trillion yuan. In terms of content and applications in the 5g era, the potential market scale exceeds 10 trillion yuan, which will produce new content platforms, new social platforms and new business forms, There will be many new trillion companies, technology and Internet giants.
For users, the main application value is that they can have a more immersive Internet experience, including more simulated virtual content, more meta interaction methods and more effective information communication. Including social networking, games, live broadcasting, shopping, travel, etc., will bring more efficient and rich experience. For enterprises, XR remote collaboration, XR education and training, XR telemedicine, etc. will greatly improve production efficiency and bring positive value to the society. These are new opportunities and new markets for XR enterprises.
Liang Kai: human imagination is really unlimited. The “hero” I respect is Elon Musk. From the perspective of human responsibility, he can fundamentally make breakthrough enterprises in the fields of aerospace, transportation, human-computer interaction, energy and value exchange. Personally, I think the application of metaverse should also be considered from the perspective of human beings and our sense of responsibility to the planet. I would like a robot to fly to Mars so that I can build a space and service on Mars where people can live or mine directly in the future through human-computer interaction, digital twins and other technologies on earth – and this is just an example. Well, in the short process of realizing this scenario, I think we can all create a lot of broken circle services such as training, design, remote control, deep-sea exploration and so on. Of course, today, I will first continue to deepen my business of metaverse education, training and art exchange.
From a global perspective, what is the current development status of metaverse’s industrial ecology? What content is the first to mature and can be out of the circle and detonate the market?
Li Wei: the metaverse industry is firmly laid out by large companies at home and abroad, which has also brought the industry into a stage of rapid development. Facebook was renamed meta, and Zuckerberg announced that the company would become a metaverse company; Tencent makes every effort to build Quanzhen Internet; The company acquired the VR equipment manufacturer Pico and so on for 9 billion yuan.
Personally, as the most important terminal equipment, AR / VR brings users the most intuitive display and interaction ability, and these feelings of users will directly affect metaverse’s sense of experience. At the same time, major manufacturers are actively developing, so it will tend to mature as early as possible.
He Wancheng: the generalized metaverse is still in the middle and early stage, 5g network is under construction, and metaverse is still in the stage of vigorously developing infrastructure. At present, VR head display is relatively mature, has moved from end B to end C, and has reached the inflection point of consumer market. AR is currently waiting for the upstream core parts manufacturers to tackle key problems, and is still mainly focused on the b-end scenario.
At present, the game is one of the earliest mature contents. In addition, for some light interactive contents, including film and television, live broadcast, panorama, exhibition, culture and tourism, there are also some scenes that can be landed. Metaverse content goes out of the circle on a large scale. I think a more mature 5g network is needed. Only when the network conditions of strong interaction are met, can content with strong social attributes such as rec room and vrchat go out of the circle and detonate the market more easily.
Liang Kai: I have lived in England for 31 years. I think there are many metaverse entrepreneurial teams in Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Some have been invested or acquired by our country, including excellent waveoptics. I think Europe has many small teams in specific fields and content. The United States has large enterprises such as meta, apple, unity, unreal and so on. China’s Tencent, byte, Huawei and other companies are making efforts. If I look at the XR part of metaverse in a narrow sense, I think today’s VR hardware has reached the stage where it can be enjoyed on a large scale and at a low price, so the content and various services are in the stage of explosion. AR is coming soon. Don’t forget that there is an excellent team like madgaze. Also, at least everyone’s midrange and above mobile phones have good ar support. Mr will be a little slower. I am familiar with education. I think education is a big field, and XR applications in all aspects are in the stage of maturity and detonation. With the continuous maturity of some technologies supporting XR, I hope to see more professional applications, including smart agriculture, smart tourism and marketing and e-commerce methods and processes that are being completely subverted. 2022 will certainly be full of surprises.
How long before metaverse really erupts? Where is the bottleneck? What key technology / path breakthroughs are needed for metaverse to truly enter the public, become the just needed market and profoundly change the real world?
Li Wei: personally, I think metaverse will be implemented in stages. The final metaverse may take 20, 30 or even longer to achieve. The [AR / VR devices, interactive devices, blockchain technology, communication technology, image rendering technology, AI technology, computing and storage technology, system development] mentioned just now are very key points. Only the improvement of all technologies can bring the best metaverse experience.
If, by stages, AR / VR equipment, interactive equipment, image rendering technology and other technologies related to experience, as well as blockchain technology, NFT technology and other technologies related to value rules, a large number of users may be willing to experience metaverse.
He Wancheng: the key technologies of metaverse include 5g, XR, cloud computing, AI, etc. At present, I think the key to metaverse in the 5g era is to wait for the maturity of the 5g network. The maturity of the domestic 5g network requires the construction of 8 million base stations. According to the current progress, it is expected to reach about 6 million base stations from 2024 to 2025. In addition, access equipment, that is, VR / AR, is also a major bottleneck, especially AR, which needs to break through the bottlenecks of technology, mass production and algorithm in optics, display, interaction and computing. Only after 5g network deployment is completed and VR / AR equipment reaches consumer level standards can we truly usher in the metaverse era.
Liang Kai: I think it’s only six months. Many fields have completely erupted. As for the bottleneck, I think it is the operating system of the software that I personally attach great importance to. Because the basic operating system is the only way to link hardware functions and killer applications. I think one is not enough competition, the other is not enough innovation. I hope Huawei’s Hongmeng can surprise you. In addition, the battery, device computing power (and data connection with the mobile phone terminal) and so on also need to be improved rapidly.
Where will metaverse’s future risks come from?
Li Wei: personally, I think the value system and legal system will be a great risk. Throwing away the pure virtual metaverse that is more game oriented, and the metaverse that interacts with the real world may seriously affect the real society. The circulation of virtual currency and real-world legal currency, as well as the conflict between metaverse’s rules and real law, will produce great risks. In addition, the huge energy demand of metaverse, the ethical issues of whether the real world is true or false, and the competition between metaverse and the real world for human resources will be risks.
He Wancheng: the risks mainly come from several aspects. The first is that virtual simulation will bring risks such as network privacy and property security. The second is that metaverse will bring challenges to the growth of teenagers and children, social ethics and values.
Liang Kai: this question reminds me of a remark made by the late British scientist Stephen Hawking to BBC News in 2014: “the development of full artificial intelligence could spend the end of the human race.”. So artificial intelligence is actually developed by human beings. I think the biggest risk is that people from different backgrounds, countries and ideologies lack mutual understanding, communication and tolerance. Therefore, the first area I strive for is education. One is science education. I think the scientific world outlook and outlook on life are very important. Love is more important.
From the perspective of human-computer interaction and immersion, what are the ideal terminal carriers of metaverse? How do you think that AR / MR smart glasses in the consumer market will become a new entrance to metaverse?
Li Wei: I agree with this view. Many technologies are the key technologies of metaverse, but AR / MR devices are the key devices that affect the user experience. The quality of smart glasses will directly affect the number of metaverse users.
He Wancheng: there is no doubt that VR / AR is the orthodox terminal carrier of metaverse. Metaverse is a 3D virtual world. Only in VR / AR can we give full play to the advantages of 3D content. Compared with smart phones, VR / AR has revolutionary iterations and upgrades in five aspects: display, interaction, computing, storage and transmission. VR / AR will become the next generation of general computing terminal and general computing platform, and will become the most core and most suitable entrance of metaverse.
Liang Kai: the first thing I want to see is our mad gaze type AR / MR equipment that can make people raise their heads and get perfect information and service support. This terminal must be constantly upgraded with cloud computing, retinal projection, chip computing power, Internet of things, and comprehensive artificial intelligence assistance. For the consumer market, I think this outbreak will be a phased upgrading process. First of all, some of our basic services have actually been realized today, but they have not yet formed an explosion. I think the improvement of price, quality, application and content synchronization will trigger a rapid outbreak at a certain time in 20222023. Before the outbreak of the consumer market, most enterprises had already realized the application of AR / MR assistance.
Postscript: when the dividend of mobile Internet fades, metaverse is given the mission of “next generation Internet”. As if it were raining flowers, the first one was to let people sigh with a sigh of the “Metaverse” product. But at this stage, we don’t need the fashionable concept of fashion. We need not get entangled whether the bubble will be too big and steady and play a good foundation for the track. When Metaverse’s real point comes, we can go all the way with intentnesses.
*Statement: the press release is not the official release of VR gyro, and all legal issues have nothing to do with VR gyro.