back to article Metaverses are flopping – hard – says Gartner

Businesses are not rushing to adopt the metaverse, according to analyst firm Gartner – because it's just not very good or useful. A document published last Friday, titled "Emerging Tech: Adopter Anti-patterns – Metaverse Use Cases Are Plagued by Low Adoption" identifies two issues that deter users from adopting the tech: …

  1. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge
    Coat

    Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

    When did Gartner predict each phase for the meh-ta-verse Gartner-Cycle, and is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

    -> Icon, Where's the key to my Gartner-Cycle Cyclotron?

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

      The Gartner Cycle

      1. A functional description for report-for-money production when you need to address hype, grief or manipulation.

      2. The green environmental maintainer on a two-wheeled vehicle with a lawnmower attached to keep opinions levelled.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

      Yeah, I paid $ 50,000 to Gartner two years ago for "VR's going to be big, really big" report and bet the company on it. Can I have my money back?

      Often it's difficult to predict whether a product will be successful but VR has been trying for around 50 years to convince. There are, no doubt, some extremely useful applications that use "VR" for remote work: surgery, engineering, nuclear power stations,… But none of these come with the trappings of the "Matrix on the cheap" that keeps getting peddled. I think that one of the problems is that pundits fail to take into account the importance of our imagination. This is crucial even when playing the most immersive game, but it also provides a barrier between the real world and the fantasy we're indulging in, which a full VR-world has yet failed to overcome. I guess porn might be the way to go but that's a much more physical than visual experience; think the Orgasmatron from The Sleeper.

      1. seven of five

        Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

        Orgasmatron? Ain't that from Motörhead?

        1. ComicalEngineer

          Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

          Barbarella.

          They put her into the orgasmatron.

          I don't think the metaverse has reached this level yet.

          1. steelpillow Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

            Well, strictly he - Durand Durand, and not they, put her into the orgasmotron. Shame she broke it, I've been looking out for it on eBay.

        2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

          referenced in the Woody Allen movie 'Sleeper', the 'Excess Machine' from Barbarella, is colloquially referred to by that name, and then yes, the Motörhead album.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

            That's the Exsexsive Machine in Barbarella (1968).

            The Orgasmatron in Sleeper (1973).

            Lemmy claimed he had never heard of Woody Allen's version before naming the Motörhead album (1986).

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

              The Orgasmatron

              Welll....

              IIRC the original of the term was from Wilhelm Reich's later work and his idea of "Orgon"energy released by sex.

              He also believed that this energy could be used to control the weather, using a "cloud cannon."*

              But has anyone been reading the 1995 edition of Vernor Vinges "True Names"?

              *Yes the thing you see in the video for Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting."

              1. Rafael #872397
                Alien

                Re: "Orgon"energy released by sex

                I see your Orgon and raise you "Liquid Sky".

    3. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

      "Businesses are not rushing to adopt the metaverse, according to analyst firm Gartner – because it's just not very good or useful."

      In other news, water is wet.

      I join teams calls every day and literally no one even bothers to turn on their camera. Why would they go to the effort of strapping on a heavy, expensive headset? Apart from a few niche use cases, this is just not something people are going to want.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

        > Why would they go to the effort of strapping on a heavy, expensive headset?

        Why would they go spending a lot of money on that useless, heavy, expensive headset? It starts there!

        Somehow VR advocates conveniently forget the huge investment required for it to run (headset/glove, computer able to run it, enough space to move in), compared with the benefits of using VR in the first place. What is that benefit anyway? It had been an esthetic choice if the virtual universe was something stunning like you see in the movies ("Player One" style), but we aren't there yet. Right now there are lots of cons and no pros.

        Not very good, and not of any use indeed. Try again in 10 years.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

          Hence Apple's release is interesting.

          It's expensive enough that they don't want everyone to run out and buy it - leading to disappointment.

          But it's a finished product enough that if someone does find a compelling use they can deploy it and Apple can decide if it's a worthwhile market.

          It's not the next iPad (yet) but it's also not a geeks-only tech like the Oculus

          1. Andy Tunnah

            Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

            "It's expensive enough that they don't want everyone to run out and buy it - leading to disappointment."

            This is one of the most nonsense things I've ever heard. Nobody has ever considered this when making a product. I

            1. ThatOne Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

              This is certainly a misunderstanding: Apple is into Veblen goods. Which means the product becomes desirable because it's on the expensive side. Releasing a cheap product would be totally counterintuitive, Apple customers expect to pay through the nose.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

                Apple is not a Veblen, those products only value is their price. The $25,000 Apple app that was just a ruby picture for example.

                Apple could have made a VR system priced like an Apple watch but it would have been very limited and a disappointment. This way they launch something that people need to have a use for to buy. One of those applications might be massive and Apple can produce a $1000 version in the millions.

                This is likely better than something like Occulus that was made more like a kickstarter, build the minimal cheap product and hope for enthusiasts to support it. But it was too clunky for anyone except enthusiasts to use.

        2. Rafael #872397
          Meh

          Re: Not very good, and not of any use indeed. Try again in 10 years.

          Or not. Remember the whole frenzy around 3D televisions?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Not very good, and not of any use indeed. Try again in 10 years.

            "Remember the whole frenzy around 3D televisions?"

            Every fifteen years or so since the 1950s for motion pictures, 1830s for stereoscope images. So-called "3D" is always a fad (marketing hype) that comes in hot and then fades out in a hurry. Once you've seen enough cycles as an adult you'll ignore it.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

        >In other news, water is wet.

        The problem is that Gartner normally put out reports hyping some new technology that immediately crashes.

        When they put out a report saying the technology they hypes is shite - it's confusing

        Whose paying them to say Apple's new toy is crap?

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Ah but Apple's new toy is AR, not VR, and the article specifically says that AR is getting a positive vibe from the market.

      3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

        In 1999 I think, I set up a video conferencing unit that required two ISDN lines for bandwidth in my companies boardroom. It never got used. I kind of took the pee out of this by changing my picture on our Intranet to an animated .gif that was kind of Max Headroom ish, and just told people to look at that if they wanted to experience a video conference. nearly quarter of a century later, we still aren't that interested.

        1. John Sager

          Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

          We once video-conferenced with some colleagues in Glasgow, may have done it twice, but it didn't catch on. My subsequent interaction with that team was by email and phone. I don't remember even meeting them in the flesh.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

          IBM's internal network could dynamically handle voice, data and video back in the early 1980s. Video required quite a bit of bandwidth (for the time), but you could set up video conferencing anywhere there was a T1 or T3 line, world-wide. The quality was comparable to the televisions of the day.

          After the initial "New! Shiny!" period, it went virtually unused ... and no, it wasn't because of cost. Those lines were paid for, regardless of bandwidth used.

      4. YetAnotherXyzzy

        Re: Is there a Gartner-Cycle for Gartner-Cycles?

        "In other news, water is wet."

        You are correct, as I suspect most of us Reg commentards would agree. But our clueless overlords in the C-suite listen to Gartner, not us. That's why I'm relieved that Gartner is telling them the same thing that we would.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surprise - Second Life reboot fails...

    Is anyone surprised that this Second Life in VR failed?

    1. Daelos

      Re: Surprise - Second Life reboot fails...

      The thing is, Second Life did a better job of the Metaverse than Meta and with far inferior tech.

      For metaverses to work, they can't be top down with a handful of megacorps hiving off parts of it for their own use. There needs to be a VR version of http, some common API where anyone can create content or host areas with whatever resources are to hand.

  3. mpi Silver badge

    Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

    > Virtual reality (VR) use cases in non-gaming environments are failing to live up to customer expectations for scale

    What use cases? What expectations? Please show me someone whos first thought in the morning is: "Oh boy, I cannot wait until I can look at my spreadsheets floating as giant panes in front of me in my living room!". Or someone who always dreamt of the day when he could respond to business mails using hand gestures and keyboards he has to look at while typing at a whooping 1-2 characters per minute.

    > Immersive meetings using avatars are not yet compelling enough

    And never will be, unless someone can explain very clearly what additional value these are supposed to provide. I don't give a damn about the quality of the avatars. We are in meetings to exchange information. That's why, during the pandemic, remote meetings took off and never came back down again: The verbal information + whatever presentation or screensharing someone is streaming, is the reason why meetings are held in the first place. This is what we are in meetings for.

    What additional value does a virtual environment add to this? What additional value does surround sound add to this? What information can I not get unless someone has a 3D avatar to block my view of the presentation material with? Unless the virtual environment is itself the presentation medium (eg. engineering projects, architecture) required to adequately represent the data narrated and discussed, what do I get out of having such an environment?

    If I am supposed to pay thousands of dollars on equipment and wear a bulky headset during meetings, I want a good reason why. I want to know what I get for my investment. And if the answer is "something something avatar something" then I'm not gonna be a customer.

    1. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

      Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

      I do think there's something to be said for a true virtual desktop. Imagine being able to open any number of windows and just placing them in mid-air. Imagine being able to view an entire manpage as just a ten foot high floating window. I think that would be pretty fun and possibly even more productive. It's just that this literally isn't even on offer.

      None of the metaverses are "a metaverse". It's not a physical space that programs can project into, it's a closed platform with highly limited support. VR for office work desperately needs to get away from the idea of "an app" as something that drives the display and towards an app as something that places objects with affordances into a space.

      Also, gatekeeping. It has to stop. A good driver is "Imagine a person going through a workday. Every single action and interaction must be VR native." There are two options:

      1. Implement literally everything yourself. Email, calendar, social, chat integration, terminals, editors, spreadsheets, browsers, file sharing, alerts, etc., all VR native.

      2. Offer an open API that anyone can hook an app into. This is the right one. For the love of God, Facebook, success *first*, then capture audience! A captive space without users is not worth anything. This will require commitments that lower your revenue. You need to understand that lowering long-term revenue is a preferable option to having no revenue because your whole offering is dead on arrival. You *need* to get the enthusiasts on board.

      Finally, it's VR ffs. Offer something better than reality! If every app you showcase doesn't have at least one "wow" moment, and I mean something that *actually* gets audiences to say "wow" audibly out loud, you are doing it wrong. It's a freely configurable virtual space! This should not be hard! Look at HL Alyx, that had a wow moment literally as the first thing when you enter the game.

      1. mpi Silver badge

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        > Imagine being able to open any number of windows

        I can already do that. I can even search them by app name, and in case of my terminals and browsertabs, by current content.

        > and just placing them in mid-air.

        I don't want to look around to find a window. I want to jump to it and have it appear in front of my. My desktop environment and my terminal setups allow me to do exactly that with a few keystrokes.

        Again I am gonna ask the question: "What advantage in capability or efficiency am I getting from this?"

        > Imagine being able to view an entire manpage as just a ten foot high floating window.

        What for? Unless I develop serious superpowers, I can still read only one line at a time. And in any case, usually the first thing I do after opening a manpage is to press / and search for what I am looking for.

        > I think that would be pretty fun

        Having experimented with VR work environments in the past, I can confirm that it is. But that is a novelty effect, and it wears of very quickly.

        > and possibly even more productive.

        For the reasons outlined above, it isn't. At least in my context, which is software development, I haven't seen a single use case, where VR confers a tangible advantage over using my collection of UHD screens, precision pointing device and mechanical keyboard.

        Actually good AR would be a different matter. A small device, possibly a monocle or slim glasses, that connects to my phone for its compute, storage and uplink, has long battery life and can be used for things like navigation, or better yet INTEGRATE with my existing work environment, would be great. I am talking about a device that I can just wear like normal glasses, all day, without discomfort.

        But instead of offering that, all I see are expensive giant headsets with a battery life measured in a few hours, if that long, that somehow want to replace my work environment with less efficient "solutions", that I neither asked for or need.

      2. ColinPa

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        We tend to focus within a cone. So a 2ft square display 2 feet away works - so to see a 10 ft high "window".. I would need to be 10 ft away and would need a bigger font size, and thus get the same quantity of information (if the VR technology was up to it)

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

          An Oculus Quest 2 actually is up to that, and I've used it.

          Technically, it works really well.

          Practically, it's an absolutely abysmal user experience, and I'd never want to actually do real work like that.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

            Came here to say what Richard 12 said.

            Toys for easily amused, low-intelligence children, not tools for professionals.

          2. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

            Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

            Practical is technical. My whole point is that the UX needs to be perfect, and can be perfect, it's just that basically no effort is put into it.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

              I have no idea what a "perfect" UX would be for VR, but as far as I'm concerned, it certainly isn't anything like what you've described, or anything else I've seen or heard described, ever. And my experience with VR goes back to the 1980s.

        2. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

          Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

          Yes, I'm aware. The point is not to widen focus but to change focus by turning your head.

          The desktop is a metaphor. It's a good metaphor, but that's because we're evolved to work with spatial position, the thing it is a metaphor for. So let's just make use of that directly.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

            The point is not to widen focus but to change focus by turning your head.

            Turning our heads to read something on-screen is precisely what many of us are not interested in doing.

            1. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

              Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

              I don't understand that. Do you not have multiple monitors? Do you not turn your head to look at them? What I'm proposing is just to fill your entire surroundings with virtual monitors. It's what we currently do, extrapolated to a situation without space scarcity.

      3. Steve Button Silver badge

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        "pretty fun and possibly even more productive"

        I'm not sure I agree. Man pages are just fine and if I want them to look 10 foot high I can zoom in. This can't be "possibly even more productive", it would have to be vastly more productive for me to change the way I work.

        Perhaps if it could hover the names of my colleagues in meetings and exactly what they do, as I struggle to remember people's names (after 25+ years contracting, I've worked with many thousands of people - buffer overflow?).

        The problem is the people leading this charge (Mark Zuckerberg) lack imagination, and think we all want to turn up at meetings looking like a virtual squirrel or something. No one wants that. Perhaps just a slightly better looking, and less tired and dishevelled version of myself might be appealing? ;-)

        I guess for information visualisation, if you could fly through a 3D graph to pick out data points? (I'm stretching reality here, I don't even believe what I'm writing - but I guess there are people in the world who would find this helpful!? - Maybe?)

        If Facebook can't succeed after throwing 10s of $billions at it, then I guess it's just not ready for the mainstream yet (apart from _perhaps_ for gaming)

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

          "Perhaps if it could hover the names of my colleagues in meetings and exactly what they do"

          What they do as in:

          Jobsworth

          The only person in the room who knows what's going on

          Sheet anchor

          Here with their own agenda about something else entirely

          Sent along because their department has, in their view, to be represented but doesn't have a clue what it's about

          Has to sign off budget

          Etc.

          1. Korev Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

            Are we colleagues?

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

            First step would be a modern implementation of ubiquitous computing as demonstrated at Xerox Palto Alto Research Labs in the 1980s… There were several overview articles in Scientific American.

            However the system was driven by smart badges and room detectors which effectively tracked every badge within the building.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

              I'm going to give a hearty "no thanks" to ubiquitous computing too, thanks anyway. I work on a laptop. When I want it to accompany me somewhere, I take it. Otherwise, I want it to stay right the fuck where it is.

              I live in the real world. I don't need every bit of it covered with a layer of candy computing.

      4. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        Solutionist drivel

      5. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        "being able to open any number of windows and just placing them in mid-air"

        Didn't downvote you, but this is a solved problem. Varying implementations of a "virtual desktop" with a button or icon to switch between them. Comes without the neck strain or wild gestures.

        "it's a closed platform with highly limited support. VR"

        This. If there was an open specification, maybe people would start using it and maybe it would snowball if there was actually a use case it was suitable for. But as a closed ecology with a company hoping to coin it on custom avatars and embedded adverts, no thanks.

        "There are two options"

        3, F**k VR.

        "If every app you showcase doesn't have at least one "wow" moment"

        I'd run a mile from apps that offer wow moments. I don't want a moment of dazzlement, or even an "experience", I just want an app that bloody works and isn't a bastard to use.

        1. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

          Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

          It's a "solved problem" in the open-source sense that somebody picked up 5% of the problem and put up a tech demo on Github. There is zero integration, zero optimization. The state of VR desktops is abysmal.

          > I'd run a mile from apps that offer wow moments. I don't want a moment of dazzlement, or even an "experience", I just want an app that bloody works and isn't a bastard to use.

          To be clear, I am saying it should have a moment that makes you say "wow". "Wow moment" is a kind of toxic term, but empirically, the sorts of things that get labeled "wow moments" might as well be "yawn moments". (Please clap...!) I'm talking about something like the first time you saw somebody drag a picture onto a word processor to embed it. You wouldn't have tried that, and yet having seen it, it's obvious that 1. it unequivocally should work, and 2. a lot of work has been put into making it work. The observation that you're in a simpler metaphor than you thought possible, and yet the code is strong enough to bear the load of its narrative: that's a wow moment to me.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

            I'm talking about something like the first time you saw somebody drag a picture onto a word processor to embed it. You wouldn't have tried that, and yet having seen it, it's obvious that 1. it unequivocally should work, and 2. a lot of work has been put into making it work.

            Yawn. In fact, yuck.

            I'm with heyrick. I do not want to be "wowed" by computing. I've worked with computers since the 1970s. They're tools. I don't want to be wowed by screwdrivers either.

            When I want to be wowed, I have people and nature and science and art for that purpose.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

              "I don't want to be wowed by screwdrivers either."

              I don't either. But I had a sneaking suspicion and decided to search the Toobs of Ewe ... and discovered there is a hitherto unknown subculture which is apparently quite fascinated by comparing one screwdriver to another. That's a couple minutes of time and a couple brain cells I'll never get back again.

              The mind boggles.

    2. ColinPa

      Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

      I often shut my eyes during a conference call to focus on what is being said - and how it is being said. So the quality of the avatars does not matter.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        I disable incoming video for much the same reason (and to keep the computer quiet).

    3. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

      > I don't give a damn about the quality of the avatars.

      Only if the avatars are of scantily-clad, muscular barbarians (compulsory chain mail bikini for the ladies, loincloth for the gents)!

      And at the 60 minutes mark the program injects a dozen hungry saber-tooth tigers, to keep meetings short.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        And at the 60 minutes mark the program injects a dozen hungry saber-tooth tigers, to keep meetings short.

        I suspect anyone supplying that as a real world service would make a fortune. Start with HR meetings so as not to get H&Sed to death.

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        "And at the 60 minutes mark"

        Sixty minutes?! I'd be happy for it to happen randomly between 10 and 15 minutes.

        There's nothing said in an hour long dose of tedium that can't be adequately summarised in a five line email, and that's the hill I'm going to die on.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

          Agree .. with the caveat that usually three or four lines will suffice.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        One chain mail banana hammock, please!

    4. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

      Re: What use cases? What expectations? Please show me someone whos first thought in the morning is: "Oh boy, I cannot wait until I can look at my spreadsheets floating as giant panes in front of me in my living room!". Or someone who always dreamt of the day when he could respond to business mails using hand gestures and keyboards he has to look at while typing at a whooping 1-2 characters per minute.

      The only real use cases I can see are if, for some reason, a video call isn't suitable and you need to meet "face to face" but a real, in person, meeting is either not possible (perhaps another lockdown) or not feasible (perhaps you are in another country). And, TBH, despite struggling, I've failed to come up with a reason why video calling would not be suitable, and meeting via VR would.

      Don't get me wrong: I'm on my second Quest (went from Quest 1 to Quest 2), and I *love* VR for gaming. I also want to see it make inroads into other areas, but I've yet to see a compelling case for it in business.

      AR is another matter. Correctly implemented, that could be good for business. For instance, a field service engineer could have a set of AR googles containing maintenance instructions for the the (say) different makes and models of boilers your company support, and when they encounter a boiler they aren't familiar with, they could bring up a virtual manual (or even 3d model) of the boiler next to the real thing.. OK, they could have the manuals in the van, or know a few models, but the AR headset could contain details for thousands of models.

      1. pdh

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        > OK, they could have the manuals in the van, or know a few models, but the AR headset could contain details for thousands of models.

        Or they could have a tablet or laptop computer with thousands of manuals in PDF form.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        >” OK, they could have the manuals in the van, or know a few models, but the AR headset could contain details for thousands of models.”

        The engineers I called out, have a mobile data connection on their laptop, they simply keyed in the boiler / dishwasher / washing machine etc. model number and they gain access to online documentation. Not sure if having the ability to use a camera to recognise the appliance actually adds anything, likewise the use of AR headset.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

          "Not sure if having the ability to use a camera to recognise the appliance actually adds anything"

          Not unless it's reading the model number and serial number. You can have two identical looking machines with completely different internal parts after the manufacturer rolls a rev.

      3. jake Silver badge

        Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

        As a guy who works on all kinds of old equipment, I don't want some kind of AR floating around in my field of view. What I want is either the factory repair manual (in dead tree form!) sitting on my workbench where I can easily reference it (and make notes in the margins), --OR-- the same thing as a PDF on my computer (not my phone, I want a real screen for schematics etc.).

        People coming out with these ideas aren't the people with grease under their fingernails and smelling vaguely of flux and PVC cement.

    5. Inkey
      Devil

      Re: Noooo! Reeeally? Who would've seen that coming.

      The "additional value a virtual environment adds to this.".....

      The value is not to the user it's to the venders and slurp brokers

  4. Little Mouse Silver badge
    Holmes

    Thanks, Gartner.

    See icon ------->

    1. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Thanks, Gartner.

      Apparently people pay them to generate this crap stuff - therefore, I guess, their report must have some value... even if its basically a complicated awk (or convoluted ChatGPT prompt) of reddit posts from grizzled IT chaps.

      This report having (notional) value is, of course, possibly a first for Gartner.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        Re: Thanks, Gartner.

        Yeah, I'm so used to Gartner's reports being so spectacularly off-target that I'm now seriously worried that VR and metaverses must be just around the corner.

        1. Happy_Jack

          Re: Thanks, Gartner.

          I usually dismiss anything from Gartner as the deluded ramblings of a self-aggrandizing parasite on the face of IT. This time, though, I think they are correct, although in the same way that a broken watch is correct twice a day.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: Thanks, Gartner.

            Gartner is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy: Gartner declares something, all pointy-haired bosses read it and believe it is true, so in the end it does describe the hype cycle of the coming year pretty accurately (except in case of a black swan event).

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Thanks, Gartner.

              As I wrote in this very forum over 10 years ago, "Gartner is quite insane".

              They have shown me nothing to change my opinion in the last decade.

  5. Andy Non Silver badge

    Virtual meetings

    I frequently get together with around a dozen folks with a shared interest via Zoom. Can't imagine doing this as avatars in a metaverse. Aside from the additional costs of hardware it sounds like a second rate and nausea inducing experience. Much better to see people's faces that I recognise and can see the facial expressions of rather than some cartoonish avatar with weird out of sync facial expressions.

    1. abend0c4

      Re: Virtual meetings

      "cartoonish avatar with weird out of sync facial expressions"

      You have to realise that, from Meta's persepective, their reference point is Zuckerberg in real life.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Virtual meetings

      For meetings with friends, it actually does work.

      By playing a multiplayer game like VR Minigolf or similar, and chatting while you play.

      The avatars do add something - you can recognise each other at a distance within the game, and have a good laugh when the IK goes nuts and the avatar twists itself into impossible shapes.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Virtual meetings

        I'm sure this works for some people, but I find the thought of it distinctly unpleasant.

  6. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

    use case?

    If one really wants immersive meetings, one can meet in too small, hardly ventillated, cramped meeting rooms and get the full range of blah. sweat and farts from all the participants.

    VR can't beat that experience.

    If I want less immersion, I join online and seclude myself to where ever I currently am.

    VR can't beat that experience, either.

    So, what's exactly the use case?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: use case?

      The use case is "you give us your money, after having already spent a lot of money buying equipment which will be obsolete in 3, in 2...".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The MetaVerse is so 2021

    The hype cycle has already moved on to XML, the blockchain, web3, metaverse, LLMs. If you don't have an ultra confident bullshitter integrated in your tech stack you've already lost.

    Mark my words, 2024 is the year of Quantum Computing. I'm already moving to Paris.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: The MetaVerse is so 2021

      If you don't have an ultra confident bullshitter integrated in your tech stack you've already lost.

      Isn't BaaS(*) what Gartner does?

      (*) Bullshit as a Service, if it isn't obvious.

      1. xyz Silver badge

        Re: The MetaVerse is so 2021

        BaaS.... Thank you. This should be adopted as a Reg standard asap.

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Brookes, he of TMMM, also published a book "The design of design". Part of this was recounted his university research group's work on this years ago. They discovered something very similar - its appeal to users was limited. IIRC users were much less keen on being able to walk round inside a VR model of whatever they were designing compared to having an image of it in front of them that could be rotated or walked through, something for which an ordinary screen would suffice.

  9. trevorde Silver badge

    This hasn't aged well

    https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2022-02-07-gartner-predicts-25-percent-of-people-will-spend-at-least-one-hour-per-day-in-the-metaverse-by-2026

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: This hasn't aged well

      "people-will-spend-at-least-one-hour-per-day-hearing-about-the-metaverse-by-2026"

      Fixed it for you.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: This hasn't aged well

      The depressing thing is, Gartner are still around, so someone must be paying them for their 'analysis', even though most of it is either blindingly obvious, or (as in this case), hilariously wrong.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: This hasn't aged well

        Edit: Too late: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/industrial-metaverse-essential-for-uk-fusion-energy-development

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: This hasn't aged well

          > metaverse-essential-for-uk-fusion-energy-development

          Why, if you were a pool table seller, you would lobby that pool tables are essential for the country's fusion energy development. It's about selling your product, not about logic.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: This hasn't aged well

            Well, duh. We use them to simulate particle collisions.

  10. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Purpose of a shop

    virtual experiences are silos, meaning marketers will be wary that running them won't make meaningful contributions to the data they collect about customers and prospects.

    Collect data? I thought the idea was to sell stuff. No wonder the metaverse makes no sense to me at all.

    1. Clausewitz4.0 Bronze badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Purpose of a shop

      Marketing is just an excuse.

      They are profiting from stealing intellectual property (IP) and some bad jokes to please some politicians.

      Thats why intel/military are afraid of some tech to reach Iran/Russia/China.

  11. Binraider Silver badge

    Hello, did nobody notice what happened to Second Life after it's initial round of hype.

    These things are nothing more than fluffy toys for gullible businesses that don't really have their priorities in order.

    Avatars, clunky headsets and expensive hardware needed to drive them are no substitute for a video conference, or preferably meeting in person.

    Now, if you were talking about hololens or equivalent AR technologies rather than VR, I can find uses for those. Re-inventing systems to exploit them is prohibitively expensive, but I can at least find some purpose.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Terminator

      An interesting article in the Grauniad about what's become of Second Life and some people who still "live" there.

    2. RichardBarrell

      Second Life isn't dead

      For what it's worth, Linden Labs is apparently profitable and employs a couple hundred people. What appears to have happened to it after the initial round of hype was that it grew a user base who like it and spend money on it, for recreation? I assume this is because they have innovative features such as "legs", no "real names policy" and they don't kick people out for being weird. Also it works on cheap computers. You can't beat "it runs on cheap computers", it's practically a super-power.

      I'm not at all disagreeing with you that it's way short of the "this is going to change everything!!!!!" hype that surrounded it in the early days, of course. I certainly haven't heard of anyone using it for business for real.

      1. Clausewitz4.0 Bronze badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Second Life isn't dead

        Linden Labs used to be a great conversor of Bitcoin

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Gartner also worries that virtual experiences are silos, meaning marketers will be wary that running them won't make meaningful contributions to the data they collect about customers and prospects."

    So it's not all bad.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      One set of marketers are wary because potential customer data will be in the hands of a different set of marketers.

      1. Rich 11

        The sooner we build the B Ark, the better.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          It's a fleet we need.

  13. ColonelClaw

    I'd really rather not wear anything on my head if I can avoid it. I already have to wear glasses at work now (eyesight isn't what it used to be), and I hate it. A headset? Forget it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So true, having finally lost that foppish mop of lank hair, why would I put anything back on?

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Well, a hat is useful if you're going outside, since you no longer have that foppish mop to stave off melanoma of the scalp.

        Of course this only applies in locales where the sun shines.

    2. FatGerman Silver badge

      I am not wearing a fucking diving mask to go to a meeting. End of discussion.

  14. Howard Sway Silver badge

    based on interviews with 52 metaverse providers

    There are 52 metaverse providers? Can anybody even name 2?

    I recall widespread agreement around here when it was launched and hyped that the reason it would fail was because it was just a fundamentally shit idea. Gartner has just gone from hyping it back then to saying that it's currently shit, but still has potential. They still can't bring themselves to say that the whole concept is bad.

    The only good thing is that Zuckerberg was so convinced that his big new idea, which was just a cobbling together of several existing bad ideas, was going to be such a smash hit that he renamed his company after it, meaning that every time its name gets mentioned it reminds everybody again of his failed shit idea.

  15. ComicalEngineer

    Anyone remember the Bruce Willis film surrogates?

    "Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others' surrogates"

    I'm seriously hoping that the Metaverse it doesn't catch on.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      I'll see your Bruce Willis film and raise you Michael Caine in Looker.

  16. dadbot5000

    The more I hear about VR/metverse flopping the more I imagine Zuckerberg pouring more money into it and worrying. More and more Facebook Inc. looks like a one-trick pony.

  17. Clausewitz4.0 Bronze badge
    Black Helicopters

    Zuckerberg was stupid betting on metaverse

    Zuckerberg was stupid betting on metaverse.

    We all know that. But he has spent a lot of money already.

    Let him spend more till investors finish him.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Zuckerberg was stupid betting on metaverse

      He controls a majority of the voting shares, so investors can't oust him. The only way Meta investors can express their dissatisfaction with his leadership is to sell their shares.

      I do think it is funny though how he will have to live with his failure since he believed so hard in his fantasy that he changed the name of the corporation!

  18. Plest Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Look at the positives....

    This means that Zuck and his plans for world domination by turning us all into VR drones and slaves has failed, anything that puts Zuck out of business has got to be a bonus to humanity.

  19. DrXym

    Well duh

    Who the hell is going to fork out 2 grand on VR headsets plus the PCs to go with them so they can sit in some boring virtual conference room and look at disembodied torsos of their work colleagues? It's about as boring and antithetical to fun as you can imagine.

    If there is any potential for a meta verse it has to be chaotic and fun with opportunities for things to happen from the chaos. Allow people to play it for free. Hell, allow them to play it from a browser to lower the barrier for entry but make it sing if they use a VR headset. Then throw in season passes, gear, clan bases and meeting rooms into it and monetize *that*. Who knows, perhaps some corporate types might even make use of it. Having everyone turn up for a meeting in the middle of an Orcish layer with cosplaying might actually make the experience worth it.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Well duh

      "Having everyone turn up for a meeting in the middle of an Orcish layer with cosplaying might actually make the experience worth it."

      No.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Well duh

      >fork out 2 grand... so they can sit in some boring virtual conference room and look at disembodied torsos of their work colleagues

      Nobody. But architects might buy a few sets so they can walk clients around a building rather than building cardboard models and showing them blueprints.

      A remote team of engineers might want to all look at bits of a 3d model rather than asking the presenter to zoom in and left a bit, no other left, no back up... all with a delay while it redraws over teams ... and with a dozen people all interrupting.

      I've yet to try a system that works well enough for using your hands in the real world. And these aren't going to be medical approved or tough enough for industrial use.

      I'm guessing most of their sales are going to be to people who travel a lot (and turn left at the plane door) and want a private movie screen experience

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Direction? Well.......

    About costs (not really mentioned);

    - Software licences for spiffy software for "meta-creation"

    - Software licences for spiffy software to drive the headsets

    - Increased network costs (more bandwidth needed)

    - Who benefits from these (and other) increased costs?

    And about "avatars".......isn't it strange that telephone conferencing, video conferencing, Zoom, WFH, Metaverse......these are all driving us FURTHER and FURTHER from actual FACE TIME?

    Colour me unimpressed with the DIRECTION technology is taking us!!!

  21. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Happy

    Well it would

    make meetings more fun I suppose

    Instead of spending 45 mins listening to the beancounter drone on and on about the rise in material costs impacting the bottom line and casting doubts on our ability to make a profit this month, I could load the VR meeting system, then rush across the room pushing his avatar towards the window with the dodgy catch while knowing the VR woodchipper is parked below and running....

    Then notice I had the VR goggles switched off.............

  22. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Maybe if I own the VR engine

    VR sounds like a lot of fun, but corporation ownership will ruin it. HBO's Westworld is a pretty good list of things that can go wrong, including the part where everything becomes so complicated and expensive that nothing makes any sense and the show has to be cancelled.

  23. Wincerind

    Well, it's in the name really. Met averse - It's for those who are averse to meeting people

  24. Blackjack Silver badge

    Meanwhile people are still using Second Life and VRChat.

    Why? Because those two give stuff that people actually wants to use.

    Is nor that Virtual Worlds are a bad idea, is Virtual Words made by corporate idiots that are failing.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      > those two give stuff that people actually wants to use.

      More precisely, those two give stuff some people want to use, and their customer numbers show how many of "those people" there are. That's the clients Meta can hope to win over. Barely more.

      1. jake Silver badge

        "Barely more."

        I suspect fewer. Quite a few fewer, actually.

        A lot of those people are there in name only, they never actually use it anymore and in fact may have forgotten they have an account. Many of the rest are only there out of inertia, signing on and going through the motions, but not really all that interested. If they ever leave it'll be because they have found something more interesting to do ... and it won't be another online world, they are already bored of that. And for most of the remainder, it's a religion and any upstart is an evil false idol to be shunned.

        I'm speaking as a guy who keeps a MUD running for a group of die-hards.

  25. steelpillow Silver badge
    Joke

    meta flops

    Does this mean that we can now count stupid corporate name changes in metaflops?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: meta flops

      Perhaps we should call stupid corporate name changes metaflops.

  26. mevets

    The V/A R killer app

    Prisons. Often a literally killer app; but V/A R could be applied to make prisoners lives less miserable. Or more. It is hard to say; but at least this kit doesn't have to end up in a dumpster.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: The V/A R killer app

      > at least this kit doesn't have to end up in a dumpster.

      Come on, let's address the elephant in the room: VR has one single, obvious use: Porn!

      Using VR you can live all your wildest and most deviant fantasies without harming anybody, in the cozy and discrete surroundings of your own house. (Some) people will pay whatever for that.

      (Didn't downvote you.)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The V/A R killer app

        "VR has one single, obvious use: Porn!"

        Nope. If that were true, the industry would be pouring billions into it. They are not. QED

        Yes, I know, there are many so-called "VR" porn movies, but if you actually look at them critically, all they are is nausea-inducing false-perspective variations on the theme previously known as "POV", sometimes with a little 3D thrown in for good measure. Those producers are obviously jumping on the buzzword bandwagon, separating fools from their money[0].

        See also teledildonics, which the porn industry also isn't exactly embracing.

        [0] Speaking of fools, who actually pays for porn, anyway? It's been freely available for centuries, if not millennia.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: The V/A R killer app

          > so-called "VR" porn movies

          That wasn't what I was thinking about, I imagined something where you can partake in the action, some kind of 3D game (an "FPF"?).

          The "Virtual" part says it all, visuals need to be created as you go along, else it isn't really "VR". A real life "VR movie" would indeed just be another word for "3D movie", just with way bulkier glasses...

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