“This is the oasis world,where the only limit is your own imagination.People come to the oasis because they can do all kinds of things,but they sink down in this way for a different life.”
This is a line from the movie “the number one player”, but it is also the most suitable idea for metaverse.
Since roblox wrote metaverse into the prospectus on March 10 this year, but in nine months, metaverse has gradually derived an irresistible development trend. Meta (formerly Facebook), byte beat, Tencent, Baidu and other domestic and foreign giants competed to enter the game, hoping to get a share in the metaverse feast that “the only thing that limits you is your own imagination”.
However, the first thing to recognize is that even though a number of “metaverse concept stocks” rose sharply and several supporting technologies of metaverse developed rapidly and matured, metaverse has not yet landed in the real sense. So what is the stage of the market’s exploration of metaverse at this stage? Which new players are starting to participate? What areas can keep up with the industry dividends brought by metaverse in the future?
Pregnant with four-dimensional space, metaverse solves three-dimensional problems from the “perspective of God”
Let’s imagine two scenarios:
You have a lot of friends. You used to get together in bars, coffee shops, milk tea shops or script killing shops from time to time, but because of the sudden public health crisis, you and your friends were isolated at home. You had to be isolated in the hotel for 14 days when you came back from a long trip. The only channels for communication between the two sides were telephone, wechat and some mobile games, Because of the asymmetry of information, the free time of both sides is often staggered.
In addition to the increasingly weak feelings between friends, it is also inconvenient to be forced to work on the home line because of the health crisis. On the one hand, without the suppression of the company system, many “migrant workers” fly themselves, don’t sleep at night and don’t get up in the morning; On the other hand, voice communication is different from face-to-face communication. Interruptions and bad signals occur from time to time, and the work efficiency is greatly reduced.
In the post epidemic era, considering the current situation of repeated global epidemics, these scenarios may become the norm in the world in the future.
The emergence of metaverse gives a glimmer of hope to the industry trapped in a strange circle. Based on this background, metaverse mainly derives two industrial directions, one is pure virtual construction and the other is reality mapping.
The former is the “game school” represented by roblox, which establishes metaverse civilization in the game by building virtual identity, VR immersion, scene diversification and economic system; The latter is an “office faction” like meta, which improves work efficiency and interaction frequency by developing office scene customization, Calendar Reminder, meeting minutes and other functions, and pursues more immersive remote cooperation for “workers”.
However, with the passage of time, the original “game school” and “office school” began to gradually tend to reality mapping. For example, roblox’s main game in 2004 relied on the anchoring field of games, and then slowly extended more identities including social networks and media companies; Rapper Travis Scott also successfully held a virtual concert in the fortress night game, attracting 12 million players around the world to watch online at the same time.
Master Lu, a tool enterprise, recently announced some of its layout in the field of metaverse. The metaverse that Master Lu is building is closely related to the real world, especially at the social level. It can be seen that it should also be a supporter of the second industrial line.
As we all know, the current world is a three-dimensional space, and points, lines, surfaces and bodies are the representatives of zero dimensional, one-dimensional, two-dimensional and three-dimensional space respectively. For players who take the second industrial route, metaverse is a seed that can conceive a four-dimensional space. Compared with the four-dimensional space, the three-dimensional space is like a glass bead in the hands of children. When people can first glimpse the mystery of the four-dimensional space, many problems in the real world can be solved.
Players show their magic power and make efforts to subdivide the scenes to be the “water and air” in the metaverse era
Since this year, “metaverse concept stocks” have continued to rise and the six supporting technologies have become more and more mature. However, it must be recognized that metaverse is still a long way from the real landing, and “number one player” and “out of control player” are currently recognized films with a world view closer to metaverse.
People who have seen these two films can find that in the world they draw, there are many mappings from real-world scenes, such as the “casino planet” that appeared when the “oasis” was first introduced in the number one player, the ball that sublimated the feelings of men and women, the bank where the man in the out of control player works, and the cafe where he wants to cappuccino.
Whether in the real world or in the two “metaverse” films mentioned above, cities are composed of these small subdivision scenes. In metaverse, these elements are like “water and air”, which are colorless and tasteless but indispensable. Among the players who seize the “metaverse highland”, some companies have begun to layout these segmentation scenarios from their main business.
As the leader of artificial intelligence technology, NVIDIA’s Omniverse avatar helps to build metaverse virtual identity, and uses natural language processing, character animation and real-time ray tracing technology to supplement the ability of character modeling in the digital world, which is mainly due to its accumulation in machine learning, graphics processing, voice and natural language processing.
At the recent ignite conference, Microsoft announced the launch of dynamics 365 connected spaces, which allows users to visit virtual reality stores and scenes, such as wards and factories. Of course, this is inextricably linked to Microsoft’s advantages in core technologies such as azure cloud, dynamic365 and windows holography.
Tencent can become the first domestic application to achieve avatar, which is inseparable from its being the largest social platform in China. According to the data of messengerpeople, wechat ranks among the top five in the global communication app. With its huge social traffic, Tencent has made many good achievements in domestic social networking, games, enterprise services and other fields.
Master Lu, who has a strong voice in the field of evaluation, is also starting from the segmentation of scenes, such as creating a bar and cafe for people to get together and socialize; Or create a face-to-face communication scene in the office field. Everyone has a virtual image and corresponding gestures and actions. The size of the voice will be differentiated according to the distance, so the communication is more efficient.
In the view of “mantis observation”, from the perspective of users, Master Lu has a large and young user group. If “geeks” who are enthusiastic about computer and network technology and spend a lot of time studying may become the first “aborigines” of metaverse, companies with more young people will master the good soil for metaverse content production and evolution.
Technically, Master Lu not only has accumulated technology in the field of software and hardware, but also has long-term cooperative relations with NVIDIA, Intel and various hardware manufacturers.
In the field of content, Master Lu is also a “game understanding company in tool software”. By 2020, more than 250 games have been launched on the company’s platform, and the game business revenue has increased by 47% year-on-year, accounting for 31% of the total revenue; In the first half of this year, the proportion of game business revenue further increased to 38%, holding metaverse’s “game entrance”.
At the Facebook connect conference, meta (formerly Facebook) is expected to release VR head display project Cambria next year, which can enable the virtual avatar to maintain natural eye contact with other users in metaverse, accurately reflect the wearer’s facial expression and have the ability of full-color mixed reality. This is due to meta’s acquisition of oculus VR, a VR equipment manufacturer, in recent years and its continuous research and development of high-end VR / AR products.
Even so, there are still some discordant voices about metaverse.
Put on the scene deck, metaverse “Theseus” better sail?
Whenever a new thing or a new concept appears, some people support it and others oppose it, and the same is true for metaverse.
Among the opposing opinions, most people hold the view that “brain in a VAT” and “eternal thinking” are substituted, so as to amplify the addiction of metaverse, just as Liu Cixin, a famous science fiction writer and “China’s first metaverse architect”, said: “The future of mankind is either moving towards interstellar civilization or indulging in the virtual world of VR all year round. If mankind has realized a highly realistic VR world before moving towards space civilization, it will be a disaster.”
Whether metaverse is really equivalent to the highly seductive and hallucinogenic “spiritual opium”, mantis observation believes that this view may be one-sided.
Let the “opponents” think that “metaverse”, which will make people immerse themselves in the virtual world, is only one of the directions derived from metaverse, and more only stays at the level of pure virtual construction.
What’s more, at a time when metaverse has not really landed, there are many addictive things, such as games and fishing, but everything has two sides. It’s inevitable to deny the full potential of metaverse from the above point of view.
Just like players who take reality mapping, those who focus on social networking can build online scenes different from the traditional ones. Friends and family in the two places can exchange feelings face-to-face due to the separation of epidemic, graduation and work; those who focus on office can change the original “interruption” and “bad signal” by polishing technologies such as interaction, artificial intelligence, network and computing And so on, so as to make the work more efficient.
Two thousand years ago, the ancient Greek philosopher Plutarch put forward a famous paradox: if the wood on the ship Theseus is gradually replaced, when all the wood is replaced, will the ship still be the original Theseus?
Putting aside pure virtual construction and focusing on the level of reality mapping, during the navigation of the “metaverse”, the iteration of six technologies, such as blockchain technology, interaction technology, artificial intelligence technology, Internet of things technology, network and computing technology and video game technology, is like changing the board of the ship.
When all of them were replaced with stronger and more beautiful wood plates, a new metaverse version of “Theseus” was born. Companies such as Master Lu, Tencent, Microsoft and Google are like “shipbuilders”. They set sail from the starting point of reality mapping to lead the users on board to a more convenient and efficient new world.