Viewpoint: the development of the meta universe cannot depend on imagination

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Source:China Electronic News

Author: lumengqi

Today, 36 companies including meta, Microsoft, epic, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Sony announced that they would jointly formulate the industry standards of yuancosmos. Affected by this news, the yuancosmos sector opened actively this morning. As a "Star" in the secondary market, driven by the news that Shanghai initiated the establishment of a 10 billion yuan universe new track industry fund and Tencent established the XR (extended reality) department, Yuan universe concept stocks were popular several times in June. So far, the yuan universe sector has increased by 1.12% in the past week and 3.32% in the past month.

The meta universe is an important platform for the interaction between the future virtual world and the real society. It is a compensation, mapping and Transcendence of reality, not an escape from reality. The same is true of the construction of yuancosmos. After nearly a year of awareness popularization, thinking collision, enterprise official publicity, capital admission and government planning, yuancosmos has really reached the stage of building a foundation and building a high-rise building. Relying on capital relief, empty speculation concept and long-term planning alone is no different from talking on paper. The wind blowing at the outlet of the Laiyuan universe can not only rely on imagination, but also forge the ability of "self hematopoiesis".


Metauniverse needs rational capital transfusion


When new technologies and business paradigms emerge, people's imagination of the future will burst in a short time, giving birth to the foam. But the foam itself is not necessarily a bad thing. The key is whether there is "gold" after the foam.

In March, 2021, the share price of roblox, the world's "first stock of the meta universe", an American game company, rose by more than 50% on the first day of its listing, and its valuation soared to over $45billion. In November of the same year, large technology companies, venture capital companies, private equity funds and start-ups were all seeking opportunities for metauniverse, driven by Facebook's renaming meta and its massive march into metauniverse.

American technology companies have frequently taken the lead in releasing technical blueprints and made large-scale mergers and acquisitions. In 2021 alone, meta spent $10billion on the construction of the yuan universe project. NVIDIA is deeply involved in GPU, AI and Omniverse underlying hardware, and has laid out application fields such as autopilot, robot and VR. Microsoft aims to play a key role in the meta universe platform by acquiring head game company Activision Blizzard. Google cut into the meta universe from the fields of computing power and AI, and reconsidered entering the consumer ar glasses market. In China, Tencent has occupied a favorable position in vr/ar ecology by investing in Epic Games and snap. Recently, Tencent established an extended reality (XR) department to add meta universe development. Netease has increased the layout of meta universe technologies such as blockchain, immersive activity platform Yaotai, AR, VR and virtual human. Alibaba established XR laboratory to promote the application of metauniverse to e-commerce, payment and other fields, and invested RMB 380million in consumer ar eyewear manufacturer nreal. Baidu launched the Greek soil platform at the end of 2021. In June this year, it just held an intensive automobile Conference on the platform. ByteDance has successively invested in and acquired a number of enterprises, including the AI chip design company SIM computing, the game company code universe, and the music short video application enterprise music Ly, Pico, a domestic VR hardware manufacturer, etc.

Up to now, there are 114 enterprises in the meta universe concept sector in China, mainly focusing on the cultural media, games, Internet services, optical optoelectronics, software development, consumer electronics and communication services, with a total market value of 1.3 trillion yuan.

According to the latest report of McKinsey, a global consultancy, since 2022, more than $120billion of investment has flowed into metauniverse, more than twice the investment of $57billion in the same period in 2021. By 2030, yuancosmos is expected to create a new market of 50000 US dollars.

At the initial stage of the concept of meta universe, when a listed enterprise announced its entry into the field of meta universe, its shares rose, and there were often trading limits. At one time, it received a letter of concern or a letter of supervision. After exploring the signs of short-term overheating in the capital market meta universe, the businesses of companies have not changed much in essence. The stock market vibration is mostly driven by external news rather than the actual growth of company performance. Although after one year of development, the advantages and routes of each enterprise's layout of the meta universe have been known, the actual launch of products and services that can be reached at the b-end and C-end is less than expected. From the long-term perspective of the capital market, the decline of yuancosmos plate in the last quarter and the last year was 10.58% and 26.78% respectively. Perhaps, some pseudo yuan universe concept stocks will face a new round of reshuffle after their performance fails to meet the standard or the foam bursts after unexpected events. After squeezing out the foam, the capital market tends to be rational.

The new media research center of the school of Journalism and communication of Tsinghua University issued the Research Report on the development of meta universe version 2.0, which pointed out that enterprises flocked into the field of meta universe and packaged themselves as meta universe enterprises. However, there are still many risks and uncertainties in the meta universe industry. Over catering to the idea boom may lead to deviation from the original technology development path, which is not conducive to the industrial pattern and the development of enterprises themselves. Therefore, both industry and capital need to return to rationality.


Relevant infrastructure construction still takes time


In order to avoid the farce of "cutting leeks" in the yuan universe, laying foundations and building tall buildings must be put on the agenda. In recent years, China's ICT industry has developed rapidly, and has gradually made significant progress in vr/ar terminals, communication network equipment, data communication equipment, display panels, software interaction and other fields, building a long board for industrial development. However, communication, computing power, blockchain, artificial intelligence and other infrastructure have not yet effectively supported the meta universe.

The communication infrastructure covering optical fiber communication, 5g/6g mobile communication, Wi Fi 6 and industrial Internet serves as the blood system supporting the operation of the "meta universe", providing connection guarantee for the interconnection and interaction of massive elements in the meta universe. The white paper on the ecology of the yuan universe industrial chain issued by the China Institute of electronic information industry development pointed out that the deployment of the communication network infrastructure represented by the "double Gigabit" network needs to wait for some time. 5g BTSs are facing great practical challenges of energy consumption. The 5g millimeter wave frequency planning policy needs to be further clarified. 5g+ meta universe innovation needs to be further solved. The degree of industrialization of 5g chips is not yet mature. The opening of industrial application capabilities, the development of common platforms and the establishment of related testing and certification platforms for 5g integrated application of VR, AR, AI and other new generation information technologies are in the initial stage.

As the computing power base for large-scale data element mining and analysis in the "meta universe" virtual world, the computing power infrastructure relies on data centers, intelligent computing centers and other capabilities to support big data, cloud computing, edge computing, distributed storage and so on. At present, it still faces the problem that the scale advantage is not obvious and the supply and demand structure is unbalanced; The data center has high energy consumption, incomplete construction standards for big data centers, and relatively lagging operation and maintenance management capabilities. In order to meet the increasing computing power demand of the "meta universe" massive to C and to B applications, we should also strengthen the green and intensive construction of the data center in the future, improve the efficiency of the data center, and improve the standard supervision and evaluation system.

Metauniverse needs a complete and independent economic system. As the core technology, blockchain has developed to the NFT stage, opening the era of digital content capitalization. It has been sought after by a large number of giants and injected with funds. Domestic Internet companies have also begun to try digital collections. However, some NFT trading platforms claim that "licensed operation", "compliance trading" and "RMB settlement" attract investors, and there is a lack of supervision Business hype.

Artificial intelligence provides support for a large number of application scenarios of the meta universe, but artificial intelligence is still in the stage of perceptual intelligence, and the bottleneck of cognitive intelligence has not been broken through, so it is difficult to effectively support the meta universe. The human-computer intelligent interaction ability and large-scale data set processing ability are important breakthroughs to promote the development of the meta universe.

The construction of meta universe requires a huge technical framework and industrial integration, and a wave of industrial upgrading is required before it can be realized.


Application scenarios are still in the primary exploration stage


Many companies first started to open a new space in the field of social networking and games, but most of them are still in the basic stage. Meta released horizon worlds, a meta universe social platform, and there are also byte Party Island, soul, gel and other immersive social apps based on virtual images in China. Users can create their own virtual stereoscopic images and make friends online in a variety of interactive scenes.

In general, these social apps are essentially the upgrade of some playing methods such as map social networking and experience social networking, including the three-dimensional of personal image and space, and creating immersive interactive experiences such as making friends, shopping and fitness. However, there are some problems in the app use experience, such as jamming, flash back, rough picture, 3D model stacking, insufficient content and so on. Regardless of whether the metauniverse is an ecosystem, its construction requires hardware entry and software support, which has not yet taken shape. At the current stage, the meta universe social app can only achieve the element of "immersing in the world and making friends with many people", which is still "semi-finished" compared with the goal of creating a "virtual life".

Fortunately, in the outlet of the meta universe, more and more manufacturers have begun to invest heavily in industrial, entertainment, commercial and other scenes. NVIDIA and BMW jointly built a virtual factory and introduced Omniverse platform to coordinate the production of 31 factories. Microsoft and Kawasaki heavy industries of Japan let workshop workers wear Microsoft hololens headgear to assist in production, maintenance and supply chain management. Guangdong Chaozhou arts and crafts yuancosmos boutique Museum was officially launched on the "meta other bank" app, becoming the first "yuancosmos" local arts and Crafts Museum in China. Netease Fuxi's immersive activity platform, Netease Yaotai, together with the CPPCC of Chengduo County, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, held the 2022 "ecological protection image" immersive public welfare ecological photography exhibition.

From the current progress, the virtual world conceived by the meta universe has been realized in some functions and application fields, but the journey of the "meta universe" is long. According to the industry research, social + game is the foundation stage. Through the development of a series of independent virtual carriers, games, social and content are integrated to form an immersive pan entertainment platform. This stage is continuously fermenting. After a certain period of time, the concepts of virtual and reality are gradually blurred, and real life elements such as consumption, finance, education, work and life services will be transferred to the virtual world before the second stage. When various scenes are integrated into the meta universe system, the boundaries between virtual and reality are opened, and interactive experiences such as full openness, self consistency of economic system and smooth social interaction are formed, it is infinitely close to the ultimate form of the meta universe of people's cognitive boundaries.

McKinsey, a global consulting firm, estimates that by 2030, metauniverse will have an impact on the game market of $108billion to $125billion, the advertising market of $144billion to $206billion, the virtual learning market of $180billion to $270billion, and the e-commerce field of $2 to $2.6 trillion.


Industrial ecology has not formed agglomeration effect


Virtual reality is highly interconnected with reality. The closed-loop economy is attached to the open source platform. Metauniverse can be said to be the product of the global open source community. It needs creators and users to build a decentralized future. Global enterprises will become contributors to the metauniverse ecology. However, the construction path of the meta universe we have seen in the initial stage is relatively scattered. Large Internet platforms rely on rich traffic, data and scenarios to build a meta universe based on their own ecology.

Just as meta recently officially opened the VR social platform horizon worlds to quest2 users aged 18 and above in the UK. The AR kit, reality kit, reality composer and reality converter launched by Apple have formed a relatively complete closed loop of AR development ecology. HTC has built an open-source meta universe platform, viverse, which supports cross platform users of smart phones, PCs, tablets and vive flow glasses. It is expected that a meta universe mobile phone will be released soon to consolidate HTC ecology. NVIDIA is expected to launch the Omniverse cloud service next year, enabling millions of MAC and chromebook users to instantly access the platform, so as to realize collaborative editing of large-scale 3D scenes at any location.

Science and technology enterprises have their own advantages in terms of underlying technology, traffic access, scene construction, etc. However, this kind of meta Universe System Based on the "big internet route" is too centralized, and all services and rights are closely related to the enterprise. Behind it is also the embodiment of national interests, and the meta universe is essentially reduced to a vassal. And such ecology can not solve the problems of data governance and interoperability, forming a meta universe island. The separation of data, ecology and value makes it difficult to form a complete meta universe system. In the future, building several open-source meta universes based on the blockchain route and realizing interconnection through cross chain may be closer to the essence of the meta universe, which is also the long-term way of development.

However, today, 36 companies including meta, Microsoft, epic, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Sony announced that they have established an organization called "meta universe Standards Forum" to establish industry standards for meta universe, ar/vr, etc. the organization plans to hold its first meeting this year. Its members include large-scale technology companies from chip manufacturers to game companies, as well as existing standard setting organizations such as W3C. However, it is still unknown who should take the lead in constructing the standard ecology of the meta universe and how to define the dimensions and boundaries.


Avoiding risks in the initial stage of the cultivation of the meta universe


The yuan universe cannot grow at will. It needs to coordinate systematic issues such as space-time expansion, man-machine integration, and economic value-added. Although meta has quickly identified and handled different types of illegal contents and behaviors through AI screening, and set up "safe zone" protection tools, users can activate "protection bubble" to shield user interaction and other measures for active supervision in case of threats. However, in the long run, the metauniverse still faces multiple risks and needs to be vigilant in advance.

We need to be vigilant against the risk of economic imbalances. The meta universe economy and the monetary system will interact with the real economy and face the problems of unstable economic order and financial risks. Moreover, it will take a long time for yuancosmos to realize industrialization and commercial profit. At present, it is in the stage of high cost and low income. The market is falsely hot and the investment enthusiasm soars, which increases the de foam process in a disguised form, resulting in chaos in the market, such as preemptive registration of yuanuniverse trademark, illegal fund-raising, financial fraud and so on. Metauniverse is prone to monopoly solidification, leading to low-quality traps spreading to the virtual and real world. Vicious competition among platforms, channel, flow and price competition of virtual platforms will lead to difficulties for the real industry.

The development of technology needs to avoid the barrel effect. At present, the development of relevant technologies in the meta universe is uneven, the shallow technology is not surrounded, and the deep core technology is not excavated enough. The contradiction between the hardware in urgent need of upgrading and the software that is difficult to iterate quickly will form an industrial foam. The key to resist industrial risks is to form a healthy industrial chain, ecological chain and value chain, so as to avoid the lack of a certain link, resulting in "neck sticking" technical problems.

The supervision of non-homogeneous tokens is absent. At present, some NFT trading platforms claim that "licensed operation", "compliance trading" and "RMB settlement" attract investors. For the purpose of attracting users and publicity, the platform will "air drop" NFT to users' wallets from time to time. The lack of NFT supervision will easily lead to business speculation and eventually become a "drum beating and flower spreading" scam, which is not conducive to the construction of the yuan universe.

Social ethics needs more attention. The meta universe is a "Utopian" world with high degrees of freedom, tolerance and openness. Individual relations, power structure, resource allocation, organization formation and conflict resolution still need clear rules. In the digital age, there are many security supervision problems in cyberspace, such as user privacy, fraud, viruses, illegal access to information, which also need to be considered in the "meta universe". Moreover, the meta universe will bring such public psychological challenges as confusing virtual reality with reality and weakening people's interest in the real world, which need to be reasonably relieved.

The Research Report on the development of the yuan universe (version 2.0) points out that the yuan universe should build an innovative regulatory system based on the rule of law. Government guidance, inclusiveness, prudence and combination of decentralization and regulation; The core technology and infrastructure of the industry can be controlled independently; Market driven and demand-oriented, a hundred flowers bloom at the level of product application and scene entrance; We will build a responsibility mechanism for the main body of the platform and technical constraints, create industry self-discipline conventions and ecological standards, and open up channels for social users to monitor and feedback.


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