Metaverse: A still-evolving concept
The metaverse has seen a substantial increase in awareness in past months with Facebook’s renaming of the company as Meta in October 2021 and a focus on driving all of its efforts towards building out the metaverse, including the most recent renaming of its Oculus Quest VR glasses as Meta Quest. While the renaming of Facebook did bring increased attention to the concept, there isn’t really an agreed definition as to what the metaverse is or as to how it will evolve. In this section, we outline how various key technology companies are viewing and defining this opportunity along with providing frameworks from two industry experts/commentators.
Summary view of the metaverse
While industry participants hold various views as to what constitutes a metaverse, in our view it essentially boils down to an evolution into a more immersive 3D internet with upgrades along five key vectors (and different commentators’ sub-divisions of these vectors):
The key interface between the user (humans) and the metaverse. These could be smartphones (which evolve and add functionality over the coming years) and/or could be dedicated or linked AR/VR devices or could be a completely new dedicated hardware.
The network and devices that connect the hardware device to the content—5G networks, WiFi, edge computing implementations and eventually 6G.
All the various types of software and content, including gaming.
All the various use cases with many (theoretically unlimited) individuals/users who interact and socialise within the platform and also across applications/platforms (use cases).
The method used to “settle” transactions for participation, content creation or direct commerce.