These 8 Tech Giants Have Invested Big in The Metaverse
The term “metaverse” has spread through the internet and become a very hot topic. The idea of a huge, virtual online world is certainly exciting, and hundreds of companies have seen the apparent potential that the metaverse holds. But which big tech companies are making big investments into the metaverse, and why are they doing so?
As a long-standing player in the tech game, it’s no surprise that Microsoft is taking further steps into the metaverse. In January 2022, the company announced that it would be acquiring Activision Blizzard, the enormous video game developer and publisher, as a segue into securing a major spot in the metaverse.
This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.
The $70 billion deal is Microsoft’s biggest ever and will allow the company to develop Microsoft-backed games and software within the metaverse in the coming years.
In November 2021, Facebook announced that, quite fittingly, it was changing its name to Meta. This was done as an attempt to usher in the up-and-coming metaverse, and it did certainly get people talking.
Cringe-inducing introduction video aside, Meta has invested a total of $10 billion into acquiring and developing both hardware and software that will be used to provide VR capabilities within the metaverse. The company also plans to invest in AR (augmented reality), another emerging technology with a promising future.
Though this is undoubtedly a huge investment, it is expected to be just the first in a number that will take place over the next few years. However, there has been significant criticism surrounding Meta’s enthusiasm for the virtual world, and some believe this is nothing more than a temporary fad for the company. Time will tell whether this is indeed the case!
You may have already used Google to look up what the metaverse is all about. After a number of its competitors investing in the metaverse, Google finally decided to follow suit in January 2022. Though Google dealt with considerable public humiliation in 2014 with its failed AR glasses, this doesn’t seem to have totally steered them away from investing in AR.
In fact, it’s AR in particular that Google is now investing in once again as a way to get a strong footing within the metaverse. The company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, has repeatedly discussed Google’s interest in AR, and may even make services like Maps and YouTube into the virtual landscape.
On top of this, Google has also invested a healthy $39.5 million in a private equity fund for all metaverse projects. So it certainly seems like the company is gearing up for a virtual and augmented future.
Nvidia is another tech giant investing in the metaverse. As one of the world’s leading GPU developers, Nvidia is responsible for putting GPUs in consoles, PCs, laptops, and more, as well contributing to cryptocurrency mining and the myriad other uses we have for GPUs. Its central role in the world of tech makes it perfectly understandable as to why the company is investing in the metaverse alongside its competitors.
It’s no surprise that Nvidia is shaping up to become a key part of the metaverse’s infrastructure, developing tools such as Omniverse to provide the tools metaverse developers need to bring their visions to life. The company even plans to develop digital avatars that people can use to represent themselves in the metaverse. So, in the near future, your personalized avatar may be a product of Nvidia’s innovation.
5. Unity Software
In November 2021, Unity Software acquired Weta Digital, a digital VFX company, in a deal that cost the former over $1.6 billion. Many questioned why Unity’s biggest ever deal involved acquiring a VFX developer, but the answer seems to lie within the company’s focus on the metaverse.
In short, Weta Digital’s innovative VFX tools should help Unity Software in further developing its RT3D (or real-time 3D) technology that can be enjoyed by users within the metaverse. With access to all of Weta’s tools and an army of its engineers, Unity Software should be able to gain a solid footing in the metaverse.
And, given that Unity is already a leader in developing real-time 3D visuals, it could certainly play a big role in producing the metaverse’s AR and VR elements. Overall, the company is a great fit for the metaverse, maybe even more than the others listed here.
Today, a million businesses use Shopify as an e-commerce platform. And, with virtual shopping becoming more and more of an exciting possibility in the metaverse, it makes sense that Shopify would want to get in early on the action. The company has its eyes specifically on AR shopping, which would generally involve users trying on clothes or viewing items in their homes virtually before making a purchase.
On top of this, recently leaked plans involving Meta’s goal to compete with Shopify as an e-commerce platform. So, with its newfound enthusiasm for the metaverse, we may see more virtual shopping on Meta, too.
Like Adobe, Roblox has also become a valuable metaverse stock in recent months. The company has made quite a few brand partnerships that will give it a considerable metaverse presence, and it has a clear focus on developing a virtual world where players can game and interact.
The company claims to have its sights set on the social side of the metaverse, which will include players using virtual avatars to communicate and build social circles. Given that the company is known for bringing players and developers together, this comes as no surprise.
The company wants to essentially build a metaverse around its current player base, but one that implements much better safety for users. Who knows whether a truly safe metaverse will be possible in the near future, as fears surrounding a Wild-West-type scenario are already brewing.
Qualcomm’s investment in XR, or extended reality, has been linked to its vision for the metaverse. Not only has the company opened an XR lab in Europe, but it has collaborated with Microsoft to ramp up the adoption of AR, specifically in both the consumer and enterprise sector.
Qualcomm has stated that its collaboration with Microsoft represents a “shared commitment to XR and the metaverse” and that it is focused on inspiring more people to set their sights on this new version of the internet. So, we may be seeing some exciting AR developments being made in preparation for the metaverse by both Qualcomm and Microsoft.
While the idea of the metaverse is exciting, it’s still more of a concept than it is a reality. For now, things are very much up in the air for this futuristic technology, and so there’s no way of knowing how things will play out in the coming months and years. Let’s just hope the companies above made wise investments!
As the roller-coaster comes to a halt before its impending drop, you look out and wonder how a virtual world could look so real. This kind of experience could be yours some day.
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