Metaverse is the “new heart of computing” • The Register
Meta’s head of global affairs was wheeled out this week to say that the Metaverse will still be a thing in the future, shortly after Disney – once an exponent of this brave new virtual world – abandoned its own plans.
Nick Clegg, a former UK Deputy Prime Minister who joined Meta in 2018, held a meeting through Meta’s Horizon Workrooms with a number of members of the press, who connected via Meta Quest headsets sent to them. for clarity, the reg was not among them.
The avatar created for the meta manager was seated at a virtual wooden table, dressed in a virtual blue blazer and collared white shirt, and by one report looked like the man himself.
“We’re going to stick with it,” Clegg said of Metaverse, “because we truly believe all the evidence points to something like this being at the heart of the new computing platform.”
“But it will take a while,” he added.
Confirmation that Meta is still behind the project doesn’t come as a huge surprise, given the billions of dollars the company has poured into creating this virtual space, admitting failure might be too much for nervous shareholders. So far, with the money it has spent on the project, Meta has developed VR headsets, software and an app distribution platform.
Turning its vision into reality is taking longer than expected, and the increased spending to do so appears at odds with Meta’s so-called Year of Efficiency, a year in which it delivers cost savings with measures such as shedding more than 20,000 employees.
Disney’s Metaverse business was designed to offer viewers a more immersive experience – the next generation of storytelling – but it came to an abrupt end this week with the announcement that the small division has been eliminated amid 7,000 job cuts across the company.
Disney’s plan for the Metaverse still wasn’t clear a year after the business unit’s formation, according to a report. Disney isn’t alone: Last month, Microsoft reportedly put a bullet in its Metaverse industrial master plan when it was confirmed that 10,000 jobs had been cut at the company.
McKinsey estimated that companies invested $177 billion in the Metaverse from early 2021 through September of the following year. And Gartner predicts that by 2026, 25 percent of the world will spend an hour a day in this virtual world. Conversely, Canalys analysts said they believe Metaverse’s business projects will be dead by 2025.
Clegg told reporters at the virtual meeting this week that advertising and commerce are two sources of revenue for the Metaverse. He said sectors like gaming and fitness have embraced virtual worlds, and education and healthcare are doing the same.
The problem is that shareholders may be running out of patience given the constant promises of this future technology. As Bloomberg pointed out, the mouths of three avatars moved when a reporter asked a question.
“I just want to really emphasize that we’re going to look back at the hardware we’re wearing now and be like, ‘Gosh, remember the days when you wore a Quest Pro?'” Clegg said. “It was always very clear to us that we were there for the long term. It doesn’t happen overnight.”
The clock is ticking. ®
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