Blog / Is the Metaverse Really DOA?
While Meta’s failures have been public, the metaverse itself is virtually inevitable.
Although Facebook made a public relations splash a few years ago with their high profile rebranding to Meta, interest in the metaverse since then has slipped substantially, leading some to speculate the that metaverse was dead on arrival. According to these naysayers, we don’t want to don headsets and spend hours on end inside a virtual space and never will. No doubt for some that’s true, but as some metaversal games like Horizon Worlds demonstrate, the problem has less to do with spending time in a headset and more with our biases and preferences. In fact, when faced with the enormity of how it can affect our lives, a metaverse, even if it’s not the exact one Mark Zuckerberg imagines, isn’t just not dead. It’s an inevitability.
- Technological dead ends
- Demographic changes
- Expanding use cases
Technological dead ends
Let’s be clear; we here at TRINUS love our technology. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t limits to what can be done with it. Moore’s Law, for example, which once held that computing speeds and chip density double every two years, is brushing up against the physical limitations of the real world. Things just can’t get any smaller or faster.
Unfortunately, a similar albeit less technical phenomenon has manifested when it comes to technologies such as smartphones, and the social media apps that are tethered to them. Simply put, they’re iterated themselves to their natural conclusion. You can make the camera’s more powerful and the screens wider, you can make them foldable and give them peripherals, but at the end of the day, your smartphone is just a small tablet and your tablet is just a big smart phone, and they iteratively practically a dead end.
The same goes for the social media apps that seem to dominate our technological lives as well. The only ways they can differentiate themselves is via the format of the content they offer and perhaps their target audience. But the essential social media experience hasn’t changed any more substantially than the smartphones they’ve become so reliant on for creating content. In a world hungry for the next new experience, social media apps on smartphones just aren’t catching the public’s interest the way they used to, leaving plenty of room for extended reality experiences and hardware to work their way in. Indeed, it’s the reality of social media’s inability to grow into new modes of operation that pushed Facebook to rebrand itself as Meta and a meta company, rather than strictly a social media app.
In addition to offering a new mode of interacting and communicating, the metaverse also has seismic demographic swings in its corner. More and more gamers are entering both academia and the workplace, meaning there’s less resistance to new technologies and new ways of doing things as previous generations retire out of the labour force. As a result VR headsets are increasingly being viewed as tools to be used to solve problems rather than toys meant to distract. Furthermore, board rooms and business offices and labs will likely be even more open to metaversal upheaval in five to ten years as even more tech-savvy students move into the workforce and resisters continue to retire out of it.
Expanding use cases
And finally, while VR/AR games have earned themselves enough of a niche following for some companies to continue to invest in VR (Sony debuted their second headset at CES earlier this year), it’s not actually the gaming component that will make the metaverse a reality. Instead, it’s the ever-evolving and expanding set of use cases for non-gaming related purposes that will cement the metaverse as a part of our society. For example, hospitals have been using VR for training staff since at least 2015, and the educational benefits of immersive learning as opposed to strictly audio/visual can be plentiful, including substantially improved retention. VR mockups of products and research results, and virtual conferences, are also use cases one wouldn’t normally consider for VR.
These are just three reasons why, although Meta’s metaverse may have stumbled, the concept itself remains strong with plenty of interest from many different angles. If you’re interested in launching a metaversal experience or are just considering the technical requirements, talk to a TRINUS IT expert today and we’ll be happy to help out.
The TRINUS Team