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Friday, May 27, 2022

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Martin K.

Apple and Google (and Meta and Microsoft) are probably most interested in controlling the kind of future mobile smartglasses that have the potential to replace smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, desktop computers, TVs, e-book readers, smartwatches, and - why not? - also VR headsets, i.e. the holy grail of personal computing a.k.a. the ultimate display.

Metaverse apps as we understand them today are then just one kind of apps on those smartglasses among many others, and not necessarily the kind of apps that make most money nor the kind of apps where we spend most of our time.

What about a single Metaverse on such smartglasses? Unless Apple and Google can control that single Metaverse, it's probably in their interest that there are multiple competing metaverse apps - if there was only one relevant metaverse app then the owner of that metaverse app would be in a much stronger negotiating position with Apple and Google because they could threaten to limit support for Apple's or Google's smartglasses platform.

But I don't believe for a second that the world would be much better off with Meta or Microsoft running such a smartglasses platform instead of Apple or Google.

And, of course, it's unclear whether and when such smartglasses are technically and commercially feasible. My pet theory is that they are so far in the future that it is impossible to know which other products will compete with them. Maybe the future belongs to tiny projectors that are mounted to sun hats because in 20 years we will all wear sun hats even in-doors. Who knows?

Luther Weymann

Very niche markets: Goggles that very few people will wear on their faces to see virtual worlds just for a little while. Glasses people wear on their faces to interact with the “internet of all things” until the novelty wears off, and then they’ll wonder where they put those glasses. Things that tech companies tell us are the next big thing. Only to prove to us the tech companies live in their little geeky bubble and don’t really know the rest of us are not living in their geeky bubble. And the tiniest niche market compared to the worldwide population? Logging into a virtual world to do something you could do in real life is faster, easier, and with more textual feeling. The next big thing…pffff.

Adeon

Apple, Google, Epic, Facebook, what's the difference? If a big corp owns it, it's all the same.

Adeon

The people who use social VR are the same age as the people who used Second Life in the 2002's.

It's a different crowd of people, mind you. They're just the same age, born 20 years later.

And just like Second Life never actually went mainstream, neither will Social VR. It will remain an entertainment venue.

It will get more popular, but never big enough for any of these big companies to spend a major part of time focusing on.

Except Facebook. Facebook acts out of desperation.

They deserve credit for jump starting the VR industry - but at this point, the technology could exist without them.

The unified Metaverse pipedream will never happen, it's just a tarpit for pipe dreamers.

If that's the only reason you are interested in VR: Save yourself some time and get out of it now.

Clara Seller

From my vantage point, the obvious financial reality tidal wave that is coming for us will wash away the ability for most Americans to hide out in VR. Only those who are swallowing the breath-taking lies being fed to us could even conceive that our lives will allow us to live in this fantasy. The hand full of people who could emotionally afford this luxury won't need it. Their lives are already fantasy. The rest of us are going to be doggy-paddling to stay afloat and trying to save our humanity. The Metaverse is junk food for a starving world.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

All right, so I am biased.

But I'm totally siding with both Wagner & Mark here. Nothing against Epic, mind you; they dared to challenge the pricing structure of Apple/Google, and they have done so rightly — by risking to develop their own online store.

I'm quite the skeptic when it comes to the 'metaverse-in-your-smartglasses' thing. I can certainly foresee that such a gadget might enjoy some sales in a niche market. But I'd be hard-pressed to believe that, 20 or 30 years from now, we'll all be taking the subway or bus, sitting next to each other, each of us happily grabbing in the air while communicating — or playing! — to others via a 'metaverse'.

Then again, people said the same about smartphones, and look at how we use them today...

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Wagner James Au
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
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