Nobody gives a damn
Is it a money laundering scheme, maybe?
The metaverse is a solution looking for a B2B problem – that problem being how to help Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg drum up billions of dollars in revenues – and it's going to fail in the not-too-distant future. That is if you believe the good folk at Canalys, who are seemingly already buffing a gravestone for Zuck's version of …
No, it is a distraction.
Remember when meta was called facebook? That was the time where only bad news about facebook and zuckerberg surfaced. They did the classic hide and distract. They changed the narrative with a new name (meta) and a very huge distraction project (metaverse).
And it seems to work. The focus is on the distraction project. Zuck's and facebook's privacy problems and (illegal) personal info collection are no longer major front page news. All in all, many billions wasted as a good distraction investment.
"But time to think? If you're not driving a hundred miles an hour, at a clip where you can't think of anything else but the danger, then you're playing some game or sitting in some room where you can't argue with the
four wall televisor headset. Why? The televisor headset is 'real.' It is immediate, it has dimension. It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be, right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest, 'What nonsense!'"
-- Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (hence the icon)
Exactly, and how many people do you know who might possibly be interested in VR porn? In an age when pretty much anything you can think of is freely available, often for free, on the internet, who is going to make the "investment" on a VR headset for the occasional five minutes of "alone time" in their bedroom? Not even teenage boys are going to buy into this bullshit. And if rule 34 doesn't apply, it doesn't belong on the internet.
Just checked and I can still have 'a jolly good wank' (TM) with my eyes closed, just imagination, no tech involved.
I can see VR might appeal for some kind of gaming, maybe the odd hand-shandy if you already own them, but can't see the point or justification of cost for what Meta imagines we'll be using it for. "Fully immersive" sounds great but the last thing I want to be doing is lifting goggles off so I can find that sausage roll on my desk or take a sip without knocking my mug of tea everywhere.
I just can't see the gain over what we already have, not even for an hour a day.
Are on crack.
That figure is so blatantly obviously inexcusable bollocks that anyone reading it who continues to pay Gartner for any market analysis needs removing from their post and to spend some time in therapy.
It's not even physically possible for that many VR headsets to exist within that timescale, even if that many people genuinely wanted and could afford to shell out the minimum cost of entry.
This is one of the things people often say without checking to say who(and how often it was) said before them.
You are 100% right that this is transparent B.S. of course, just that there is nothing unusual about Garner being gaga about new technologies during this phase. That is because Meta the company is still setting giant piles of cash of fire to pretend their vision of the Metaverse will come to pass. Hilariously the company was largely founded tracking these hype cycles, and their own overpriced charts clearly indicate that "Metaverse" is in the part of the market hype cycle where they grin and repeat the lie wither there hand out.
Oddly, as much as I dislike the company, they are actually doing their job on this one, as the people paying for those reports are front running the market and need to know how much longer they can pump the gravy train, and how close the cliff is.
It's all horseshit of course. Zuck is rolling the dice on a long shot where he can insert Meta/Facebook and it's predatory biz model on the next version of the internet, installing himself as overlord and gatekeeper. Much as i'd love to realize the cyberpunk dreams of the 90's, i'd rather see AR, VR and the idea of a "Metaverse" burned to the ground then used as tools to enslave humanity to a dystopian ad machine.
So we shall see if those of us that COULD have built a metaverse that people would enjoy using get a chance to after Mark "Zuck's" his version up so bad the whole term stinks worse than VR after the crash. Nvidia and others will continue on with their "industrial" version. And most people will be peering at it through phones and tablets not headsets anyway. But you can damn well bet while I am glad to point out how much Meta's vision of AR/VR sucks, I'm not telling them how to fix it. We waited a couple of decades for the dust from the first VR crash to settle. I don't want to wait another 20 years, but I will if I have to.
I laughed at 'shopping'.... shops are supposed to produce 3D renders of their products to showcase in the Metaverse, when many struggle to put more than one image of something on their web site, an often copy and paste the description from the wrong product? Riiiiight. We can have 360 degree images on web sites now, and occasioanly we get them. But it's not like everyone is doing that and chomping at the bit for the next immersive experience.
Gaming, yeah, I see that, and attending a concert virtually would be fun, working,.. er,.. what, looking at virtual monitors whilst my virtual colleagues talk about football? No thanks. Socializing,... I think someone needs to look up what that word means.
... and attending a concert virtually would be fun...
What form would that take, though? Detail rendering of other people at the concert? Virtual tall bloke blocking your view? Or just a render of the band on stage? Because I can assure you, the computing power needed to do that convincingly far exceeds that which can be found, and is ever likely to be found, in a head-worn sweat box.
The basis for comparison that I am using is the "holographic" ABBA show in London. The rendering for the *cough* "Abbatars" *cough* is very impressive, but not entirely convincing (still in the "uncanny valley"), and that very obviously took an expensive rendering farm some time to generate, at a fixed angle of projection.
Unless you're happy to settle for being in a virtual version of the Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" video, I'd move along...
It was as good as it needed to be, and the limiting factors were the "projection" tech more than our ability to animate them.
Choose a different display media and you could map the stuff on top of live actors in real time with off the shelf software, and from any angle. Past that and you enter the classic money/quality problems. Based on the number of virtual tickets you are going to be able to push, you aren't going to recover costs from going full "Avatar" on your CG.
Dire straits and Max Headroom had it right in that regard. Make it look good enough to get the point across, and cut corners to save money while where you can. Headroom was rendered on like an Amiga 500 if i remember correctly, and composited with practical effects makeup on the actor. Nobody cared. The show was fun, and mind blowing at the time.
Much like VFX for other things, the best versions won't make sense to even try for years after the "good enough" ones are industry standard stuff. So bring on the blockheads, there will be flashier stuff down the road, but that video worked because of the story it told, not the effects. It has it's spot next to the Buggles "Video killed the radio star" in that regard. So much so that most people here would struggle to remember the next for CG videos that came out.
Most new audio visual tech gets its initial push from one particular market sector. A minimal internet search shows rule 34 applies to the Metaverse. A quarter of the population for an hour a day seems like an over generous estimate but with a lighter, cheaper headset and inappropriate add-ons the market could grow to a respectable fraction of that size. A few years ago I would have thought Facebook's reputation for privacy would exclude them from this market. Now it would not surprise me if it became the new cool hangout for teens desperate to attract over 10,000 followers.
Quest 2 is by far the most popular headset.
There's around 15 million Quest 2 headsets on the planet today (Facebook have better figures, but it doesn't really matter for this estimate)
So assume 30 million VR systems worldwide, and that they're used for that hour daily.
There are 332 million people in the USA, so that's roughly 83 million headsets, just for the USA. If all existing headsets were in the USA, and none of them break or go out of use, that'd need 53 million more headsets in the USA.
There are 8 billion people on the planet. To reach 25% would need roughly 1970 million more headsets. In three years.
It's not even theoretically possible to make that many, let alone sell them.
If you're spending an hour a day (one sixteenth of your waking life) *ahem* "enjoying the merits of pornography," you may have a problem, and I can assure you, this is not even remotely normal, even for a teenage boy (who is unlikely to have the several hundred quid available to, err, "splash out" on this).
But I don't think that pr0n is going to be the catalyst for this revolution. It doesn't add enough to the "experience" over just spending the money on e bigger TV, and though more interactivity might increase it's uptake, interactive pr0n hasn't really been the driving force in the industry.
No, it needs to probably come out of the gaming space, or from the biz side. If it helps you earn a paycheck, people will start using it in mass. The gaming space is already there, it's just not big enough yet for AAA titles to recoup their dev costs reliably yet. That and there are UI and control issues that need cleanup. Many of the games sacrificed the play experience to help people that get motion sick to not chuke in their headgear after 15 min.
What killed 3D TV is that most films aren't going to be better in 3D. It was just an excuse to juice ticket prices with surcharges. 3D cinema can me effective and immersing, but outside documentaries, 3d friendly material is a tiny subset of the ideas that would make great movies, and shoehorning bad CG and 3d into a project can ruin it pretty quick. So the wheels fell off of that, and we have entered another era where people will only make a good one every few years. But Argo pretty much nailed that. Gaming COULD have done more with it but few games tried.
The tech isn't even the problem, it's the lack of prior success to point at and copycat. We hit the low end of critical mass for VR games, but the market is still small, and costs are still high, so what you are seeing is projects that aren't very ambitious as far as scale goes, or experimental ports of stuff that wasn't built for VR.
I suspect that 3DTV may re-enter the conversation when the Metaverse is actually realized in a few years as a more interface agnostic experience where people on phones and TVs are more common than people running full headgear. Because both of those are ubiquitous, and headsets will take years to saturate the market even if a good and cheap one was available tomorrow. Headsets will eventually find their place probably, being able to look around has it merits as far as immersion goes.
The number has been plucked out of somebody's arse to hopefully encourage other companies to keep investing in "consulting services". The metaverse is marketing term designed to avoid copyright issues around cyberspace.
If the issue was purely technical, such as better headsets, then there might be a future for this dystopia. I suspect we will also see more and more uses of VR for industrial applications where they can complement other technologies: VR/AR based remote surgery, work in dangerous environments (nuclear reactors, sea bottom), etc. But this almost by definition entirely excludes the kind of environment that Facebook is trying to promote.
My company wasted tens of thousands of dollars equipping every member of staff with an Oculus Quest 2. We used it once for a virtual meeting. Laggy, low-res, utterly pointless. They should have issued iPads and Pencils instead, whiteboarding using those at least has a fighting chance.
I love my Oculus Quest 2. I love VR, and want to see it have some sort of future.
Meta appear to be trying to get the Quest range into business on two fronts. One is using the headset to create a virtual office, where you recreate the physical environment (desk, keyboard etc). You can also use other virtual environments to hold online meetings where it's supposed to feel like people are in the room with you.
Having played with a couple of these apps, I don't seem any advantage to them beyond the fact you can have as many virtual monitors as you want. This is handy if you need multiple monitors, but don't have room for multiple physical monitors. It has the disadvantage that if you want to be able to see your keyboard and mouse (which might be important), you need to use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse that is supported by the software. If you have an existing wired keyboard and and mouse (as I do), it gives you something else you need to replace batteries in or charge, and it' limits the devices you can use to a few keyboards, and a few different mice. In the case of the Quest, it's essentially a couple of models of both manufactured by Logitech.
OK, it is interesting having online meetings, but seeing avatars floating around doesn't really make it feel like you are with that person in the same room, and beyond that, the online meetings function is essentially the same as that in Teams or Zoom.
The other "front" is the full on metaverse. This seems like a solution looking for a problem. I've not seen anyone provide a solid business case for moving their operations into a virtual world. I think the vision (from a business point of view) is that people who work from home can (as above) work in virtual offices, but I've already gone through the problems with that.
Another possible business use is shopping. You can go to a virtual shop, interact with the goods in much the same way you would.a physical shop, but the difference is, when you buy any physical goods, in a physical shop, you can often walk out of the shop with them, In a virtual world, they'd need to be delivered, Essentially, it would be just as easy (possibly easier) to buy the goods from a website.
I think it *could* be handy for online social gatherings, such as watching a gig, but the couple I've been to have been disappointing to say the least, consisting of a virtual world with a group of people watching a 2d video of whatever group is playing. I say "watching" , but in reality all that seems to happen is you get a bunch of them just being idiots and ruining it for everyone. Don't get me wrong, if I'm at a gig in real life, I will be the first one up dancing and the last to sit down, but I do behave. OK, so you can turn other people's avatars off or mute them, but there is no point in going to a gig if you are going to do that.
Hmm, £1500 to "play" in a VR version of a meeting room with the Nintento WII console Mii avatars from 20 years ago! Sounds like a bargain.
I remember tyring to watch 3DTV, I felt sick the whole time, I got a stinking headache that lasted for an hour afterwards. I don't like enclosed spaces and I find even covering my arms uncomfortable. I'm certainly not the target audience for this.
I've been gaming since 1982 and I've seen the "VR future" promised every year since then and nothing has ever worked or taken any kind of mass appeal not matter how many thousands of man hours and billions in investment. VR doesn't work for everyone or everything, it has very limited uses albeit when it's good it works damn well, it's just never going to reach mass appeal. Heck even Google Glass, part VR was an absolutely flop and that was just a few overlays not a full immersion.
I wish you luck, I genuinely do it's an interesting technology but it just needs to find its niche, mass appeal will never work for VR.
When it works, modern VR gaming is wonderful.
Now, as the (formerly) proud owner of a Google glass, the proud owner of a rift DK2 and former owner of a rift quest 2, I admit that I'm one of the easiest lays in the world for this kind of thing. That being said, driving games and properly designed VR games like beat saber are vastly more immersive than they would be on a screen. Especially driving games in my experience. More than once I've found myself reflexively reaching for a gearstick while driving only to remember that I don't have that peripheral just drives home how realistic it feels.
The metaverse is shit though. It's obviously designed with the intention that people with lower end PCs or just an untethered quest 2 can access it with a high enough framerate to alleviate most motion sickness issues and that limitation kneecapped the graphics (even if the crap aesthetics are entirely the fault of the designers).
The Zuck is easily a decade or two early. And that's being optimistic.
The vr cartoon verse certainly hasn't the fidelity of even middling flat screen games from the last decade. Just that alone is off putting. Never mind that many folks find current vr less than ideal (motion wise) for anything longer than half hour.
2. Headsets: weight, size and resolution - as the owner of a g2, I can see raw resolution and ability might be only a couple of generations out from ideal. However, I was a vr enthusiast and yet more than an hour using any vr, and I need to stop. It doesn't feel like something for extended, detailed and concentrated work.
3. Touch: to mean anything, we need to touch this world. Otherwise it stays very flat, boring and sterile. No matter how good looking, if we can't feel it, it won't have longevity. It differs from flatscreen games as they aren't asking you to immerse yourself into a replacement 3D world. Vr does.
4. Compute capacity: related to the point about graphics really. An ordinary bargain basement business pc will actually require, routinely, rtx 4090ti level gpu capacity to deliver 90fps with unreal engine 5 like detail on vr. I may be being optimistic.
The point is, hardware tight IT depts will buy won't be high end rigs. If this is to be mass business use, then very ordinary boxes need to be able to use it.
5. Use cases: outside of virtual design work (gravity sketch is lovely for example) and virtual tours, what is the business case that isn't covered by video and phone, email and slack and... Gasp... Live in person? FYI I wfh :P.
Hardware wise, we are about a decade early, maybe more for a good mass adoption of a great meta verse. And even there I'm being optimistic.
And ignoring security, privacy and safety issues.
I don't believe Zuck has this right and I'm a vr enthusiast and loved Snow Crash and other tales with those concepts in.
So the Metaverse will be worth $5 trillion or $13 trillion and we'll all be spending an hour a day in it or it will be dead.
The solution looking for a B2B problem is really tech forecasting "analysts".
It's like snake oil salesmen offering a cure for other snake oil.
The plan is to require VR hardware to access the thing, and I've yet to find VR goggles I can wear with my glasses, presuming I were willing to fork out all the hardware costs involved for viewing 3D cat pictures.
I predict it will be renamed "Metaspace" within 5 years... and about as remembered as "Myspace", save for being a famous example of poor business analysis and multi-billion dollar fiascos.
> Gaming may take off, he conceded, and "I'm led to believe there's a target audience for adult entertainment, perhaps"
Lol. Gaming has been doing the metaverse for at least 3 decades (anyone remember MUDs and MUSHes?) and cam sites now have VR support so I'd suggest the adult industry is also already doing the metaverse. Maybe its time to do some research before writing your report mister chief analyst.
Zing! And exactly what I mean by "poor market analysis." Besides, you can't do porn in the Metaverse; they don't even want to show legs apparently, or are at least toying with "fuzzifying" anything that might be considered "erotic."
Nope, last article I read said the adult/porn industry is all hot and bothered about marrying robotics and VR. *LOL* Frank Zappa's "Joe's Garage" may have been more prophetic than anyone realized (eh, "Syborg?" *LOL*)
If there is some lesson to be learned from COVID-19, it is that humans (that's us) need physical interaction. The need to go out and physically see eachother has never been so big as during (and after) the various lockdowns. We do not want, nor need, yet another on-line reality faking "app" that in the end is only after our money. Or soul. But probably both.
The business case for the metaverse only really exists if it can offer something better than Zoom or Slack for business use cases. At the moment it can't - even an avatar that can raise an eyebrow isn't as expressive as the actual human face it's been modelled on. It might start to offer advantages in certain domains - maybe architecture where you want to walk a client through a design, but for most business meetings it offers no value, just extra cost and inconvenience.
The technology is going to have to advance an awfully long way to overcome the current disadvantages and there has to be a real question mark over whether the investment is going to be there. Plus the huge extra strain on the internet backbone for all the extra bandwidth that would be needed for photorealistic VR.
Perhaps it won't be Meta's vision of VR or even delivered through a HMD but I predict there will be a rise in some form of more immersive telecommunication in the coming years, on the back of the impending IC vehicle bans. The working class will simply not be able to afford EVs that match the capabilities of their IC predecessors and this will lead to a massively reduced ability to socially travel. I believe that something will need to fill the void for friends and families to interact with each other, that goes beyond the current limitations of a video call.
I expect the current generations will be more reluctant to surrender their ability to travel but the coming generation might be more accepting if they've never known the ability to, on a limited wage, travel where they wish at will. At the same time, soaring energy prices will push us into smaller homes, increasing the allure of virtual spaces.
Except that you need a fairly large room for most VR 'experiences'
A 2m square is basically the minimum safe distance. If there's no spare bedroom, that means a living room at least 4-4.5m by 3m to allow a sofa without punching the TV.
And even if you do have that, what does the rest of the household do while one person is In The Metaverse?
… it’s either the $5 trillion, $8 trillion, $13 trillion or market completely flops by 2025.
I think we all know which it’s going to be. But never mind. I’m the meantime, people will make tons of money out of this vapourware. Or it’ll evolve into something that doesn’t involve wearing headsets and having business meetings in your toilet.
Did the VR thing on the PS4.
Interesting, but it still gave me motion sickness. But it was an odd feeling to look around and 'see' yourself in a different body.
I don't see the metaverse taking off in the timelines they are stating, regardless of how much money is thrown at it. You have to wonder how much of that money could have been used to help people in the real world as opposed to wasting it in a make-believe one.
VR 3D type worlds could really win but the people working on it are lazy.
They are doing the wrong things and forgetting that it is about buying things and having fun.
So far no standard GUI interface to buy things.
Meta is focusing on dumb things like grass and shrubs and how to make faces more cute.
Every single example of a META VR world has not even come close to what a VR world commercial experience would feel like.
Oh but waving hands and looking cute is more important.
Where are the commercial structures at in this VR world?
Interfacing with point of sales system in the VR world is more important! This should have been done within 9 months of creation of the Meta world.
Lack of vision indeed.
I have read most of the comments on here and TBH I'm surprised that most are saying what crap and nonsense.
Remember when the Internet arrived the same thing was said.
Metavers I strongly beleave it will change many many lives in terms of financial stability and that's just the beginning
I will put ut out there and say the metavers will be at least 10x bigger than when the Internet arrived and alot faster people will adapt
Meta(faceshit) yes I don't like what they do in regards to our data.But it has brought the netavers to a wider public
Soon Google,amazon and the 2 big ones PlayStation, xbox which almost every gamer will have .Boom its every where
Just my opinion
I already use crypto and a metavers to make my own money work for me ,instead of my money working for the banking system to make them millions only to give me(if I'm lucky) 0.5% intrest a year
most are saying what crap and nonsense. Remember when the Internet arrived the same thing was said.
I don't. I remember people saying it seemed pointless and they couldn't see what possible use it could be to them. The internet then took off as more people began see how it could be of use to them, how it could be useful in general, thought 'if it can work for that then maybe it could work for this'.
I can't see Meta delivering that. The potential gains for "Immersive FIFA" and other games are there, even "Immersive Virtual Holidaying", but day-to-day "Immersive Business", "Immersive Social", I just don't see it. Like others I suspect it will follow 3D TV; a minority sport.
The entire concept of the metaverse is flawed due to one simple thing - the need to wear a headset. I don't even like wearing headphones for too long, let alone a screen strapped to my face.
I certainly wouldn't want to spend 8 hours a day with this tech on my face, and I suspect most people are the same.
Current "VR" tech is a giant gimmick. It isn't VR in the sci-fi sense. It is a cut price 3D display with major issues.