Since November 2021, more and more companies are talking about creating metaverses. Big-tech, the game dev industry and even fashion houses are engaged in them. We tell what kind of “race” of technologies this is and who will be the first to create the metaverse.
Microsoft and its workspace
Microsoft is one of the world’s leading software companies. Almost everyone used the services of a corporation in one way or another. The company’s most popular products are: Office 365 Suite, MS Teams and Skype. Microsoft’s next step is to unify all products into a metaverse.
Microsoft’s development covers several areas. Among them:
- OS (Windows);
- work software (Office 365);
- IT infrastructure (SQL);
- data gateway (Minecraft, Xbox + Xbox Live и HoloLens);
- cloud services (Azure).
These products make it possible to create a metaverse. And the corporation is already doing it. In May 2021, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the creation of an enterprise metaverse using the Azure cloud service. It will combine the Internet of things, digital twins and hybrid reality.
Satya Nadella also shared the intermediate successes of the development. For October 2021, based on the Azure Digital Twins platform, you can create a twin — a digital model of anything. From an object to a complex environment in which there will be many of them and in different forms. All of this can be monitored in real time. And you can interact with these objects using mixed reality — a virtual space that is projected onto the real world with the help of special glasses.
How Zuckerberg is building the next generation internet
Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most active supporters of the creation of the metaverse and actively talks about it in the media. According to his idea, the development will unite all platforms into one ecosystem. And the social network will turn into a virtual world where you can work, communicate and spend your leisure time.
Users will physically feel each other while being online. The Metaverse will be similar to the Internet, which you use while being literally inside the network, and not in front of the monitor. This is a more global idea than VR, which the company has already successfully implemented with the help of Oculus. With a successful launch, Zuckerberg’s metaverse could join iOS or Android as a next-generation ecosystem.
Key features of the Zuckerberg’s metaverse:
- expansion and improvement of user experience,
- seamless movement between platforms,
- possible transformation into an OS.
For those who want to learn more about Zuckerberg’s metaverse. The article collected the essence of Mark Zuckerberg’s interview for The Vergecast podcast.
Augmented reality by Amazon
Although Jeff Bezos’ company has grown far beyond the online store, its main goal has not changed. Amazon still sells anything and everything. Now the company plans to sell anywhere. To do this, it plans to use metaverses.
You can already find offices and branded events of various companies: from Coca Cola to Binance. For example, the Maff Metaverse agency helps companies promote their brands in the metaverse.
Like Microsoft, Amazon has a plethora of technology assets and gadgets at its disposal. These include cloud and streaming services, media, third-party commercial platforms, and smart home devices. One of the company’s developments is close to the idea of the metaverse. This is an augmented reality (AR) technology for trying on clothes. It was developed in 2018 when AR was only gaining popularity.
In 2021, Amazon continues to evolve towards the creation of a metaverse. The company is working on software for cloud computing and rendering. It will be embedded in AR glasses and will be used as a digital assistant for home or office use.
Game industry as a creator of the metaverse
The modern game industry is the perfect place to create a metaverse. It combines technology and entertainment. Here you can create many worlds, each with its own time and space. Let’s talk about several projects that can create a metaverse.
Epic Games. From the very beginning in 1991, the studio has been creating what would later help their Fortnite game gain its audience and status. Initially, the company’s products were designed to involve users in the creative process. Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney wanted to make games that users could use to create their own entertainment.
In 1991, Epic Games made a “world editor” for the game ZZT, which allowed users to create their own games inside this one. It was easy to operate — even children could manage it. And while the company has never boasted “unique games,” having an editor has brought it success, which Fortnite has been the catalyst for.
From a battle royale game, Fortnite has become a place where people meet to socialize and have fun. There is no need to fight. You can go to a concert, attend the premiere of a movie trailer from a famous franchise, or sail to the island to listen to a music album.
All this is very similar to what is described by the term “metaverse” — worlds within worlds. Epic Games plans to further develop it. To “support Epic’s long-term vision for the metaverse” in April 2021, the company raised a $1B round of funding.
For those who want to know about another giant of the gaming industry, which is gradually becoming a metaverse. In the article we tell the story of Roblox.
Atari. In the 80s, this company was similar to Apple in 2007. Revolutionary, diverse and promising, it had a huge fan base. For 12 years, the company has been the market leader. Atari released the first game consoles, but was forced out of the market by competitors represented by Sony and Nintendo.
Decades later, the company returns with the Atari VCS console, built on the junction of the blockchain and the metaverse concept. And although the release date is unknown, and several years have passed since the announcement in 2018, loyal fans are still waiting for the new product.
Mojang Studios. This studio has developed Minecraft, the game that most closely resembles the metaverse. It implements a very accurate world simulation: vegetation, weather, terrain. It has a variety of game modes. You can survive in the harsh nature or have fun in creative mode. But the main goal is to arrange your world.
The Mojang Studios’ game is the optimal platform for creating the metaverse. It already has some characteristics, such as the possibility of an endless existence in creative mode and user generated content (UGC).
The development studio is owned by Microsoft. And with the resources of this corporation, Minecraft can become a platform where a large virtual world will be built.
Not only big-tech companies are involved in the development of the metaverses. Fashion brands, streaming services, and even auction houses use them. However, they are more likely to collaborate with other metaverse projects than develop their own.
For those who want to know how and why brands use metaverses. We described how Netflix, Gucci and Sotheby’s are presented in virtual worlds.
The metaverse in the full sense of the word does not exist yet. There are no virtual spaces that you can literally walk into like another room. But in 2021, developments that embody one or even several of its features are already appearing.
Epic Games and Mark Zuckerberg are creating replicas of the real world. Microsoft is working on full immersion in the corporate environment. And individual brands, like Gucci or Netflix, are collaborating with projects that are already similar to the metaverse.
Cover and illustrations: