Metaverse, automatic driving… The cutting-edge technology of the five giants of American science and technology who are crazy about throwing money

Metaverse self driving quantum computing… The cutting-edge technology of the five giants of American science and technology spending money crazily

The American alphabet, Amazon, apple, metaverse platform and Microsoft have become the “five giants” of science and technology. The pace of technological progress has never ceased. These technological giants have invested heavily in research and development of “cutting-edge technology” – artificial intelligence, Metaverse, self driving cars, health care, quantum computing and other fields. Their pursuit of new technologies has no end.

World tide of scientific and technological innovation

In the wave of technology competitions, the American alphabet, Amazon, apple, metaverse platform (meta) and Microsoft have become the “five giants” of science and technology. The pace of technological progress has never stopped, and the pursuit of new technology by these giants has no end.

Large technology companies in the United States are frantically throwing money at R & D! The British economist magazine pointed out in a report that the “Big Five” spent $149 billion on R & D in 2021, which is much higher than the R & D budget of the Pentagon. Analysts believe that about 5% to 20% of these giant technology R & D expenditures are in what we call “frontier technology” – AI, Metaverse, autopilot, health care, quantum computing and so on. The giants hope to “use market forces to win the next major victory”.

Artificial intelligence and cloud services

According to the data provided by project proposal, over the past three years, the five giants have acquired more than 110 companies (excluding Microsoft’s recent announcement of a $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard). Among them, there are more than 40 transactions with a total valuation of about $50 billion. A quarter of them focus on artificial intelligence or processing large data sets; A quarter focus on other cutting-edge technologies. In addition, among the 22 acquisitions of meta since 2019, more than half are AI related start-ups.

Cloud service companies are the “sweet pastry” in the eyes of the five giants at the time of acquisition. Microsoft had previously agreed to buy newans communications, a cloud service and software provider focused on health care, for $19.7 billion. Microsoft has also purchased some companies that support cloud services, such as porter companies that help enterprises transfer data to the cloud, and Knox cloud security, which is engaged in network security. Google, which lags behind Microsoft and Amazon in cloud services, snapped up three cloud start-ups, including actifo data management.

Metaverse alone

Metaverse is another important area favored by the big five. In a recent report, the website of American consumer news and business channel pointed out that 2022 will become the most important year in the field of “metaverse”. Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a report last December: “large technology companies now regard augmented reality as the next computing platform, which seems to be a reasonable change in consumption patterns, and new industry leaders will emerge.”. Goldman Sachs estimates that as much as $1.35 trillion will be spent on developing related technologies in the next few years.

Of course, the big five are not far behind. One of the most enthusiastic is meta. Since 2019, more than half of meta’s patent applications have referred to augmented reality or virtual reality. The economist reported that among the 13 companies engaged in augmented reality or virtual reality acquired at public prices, meta acquired 8, including “big box” virtual reality and “pouring rain interaction”. Apple bought four companies, including nextvr virtual reality and kinema 3D animation, which is expected to release a high-end headset combining virtual reality and augmented reality technology in 2022.

It is reported that Google has set up a new team and is currently recruiting a large number of employees to develop an “innovative virtual reality device”. Microsoft plans to develop metaverse through two new initiatives. The first initiative helps managers have an in-depth understanding of how customers move and interact in retail stores, employees in factory workshops and other spaces; The second initiative allows people from different locations to hold meetings, send information, process shared documents, etc. to share the holographic experience.

Autopilot and healthcare

Google has invested in two automatic driving companies: the new way of travel and the company of the company. Apple acquired drive, a self driving start-up, in 2019. The Titan project, Apple’s self driving project, aims to launch a car in 2025. In February this year, Microsoft joined the competition to invest in the auto driving automobile company, weff, based in London. Amazon also invested in Aurora and rivian, which went public last November with a valuation of $67 billion, and Amazon holds 20% of its shares. In addition, Amazon bought Zook auto company last year for $1 billion 300 million.

Overall, 9% of the investment of these large technology companies is in the automotive and mobile fields; The proportion of the limelight industry is only 2.4%.

In addition, since 2019, the venture capital Department of the alphabet and its private equity investment department have reached about 400 transactions, of which about 100 are for companies engaged in life sciences or health care. Technology companies believe that part of the attraction of this field is due to the increasing applicability of artificial intelligence to biology. Asset management experts believe that it is now possible to “write RNA structures on a computer as if it were software”. Google’s venture capital includes genome editing company editas pharmaceutical company and adagio pharmaceutical company, which has found new drugs. Microsoft acquired three wearable device companies, including motion tracker, for $2.1 billion, reflecting its growing interest in health care.

Financial technology and quantum technology

Another 45 investments from Google’s financing department have entered financial technology enterprises, and other technology companies are taking similar actions. In 2020, Weibi became a mobile payment company engaged in the acquisition of Apple’s mobile terminal. Last year, Amazon acquired Indian financial technology company perpule retail technology.

Technology giants are also increasingly interested in quantum computing. Google is currently developing its own quantum computing hardware. Last July, Google said it had proved that its “sycamore” quantum computer could detect and repair computing errors, which was a key step in large-scale quantum computing and was crucial to the future commercialization of the technology. Microsoft CEO Kevin Scott believes that investing in quantum computing is very important for Microsoft. In July 2021, Microsoft’s venture capital department participated in the financing of $450 million for psiquantum.

Boston Consulting estimates that once quantum optimization technology matures, applications in finance, logistics and aerospace alone can generate up to $220 billion in annual revenue.