The novel “Snow Crash”, written by science fiction writer Neil Stephenson in 1992, first proposed and described the concept of Metaverse. There is a fragment in the novel: the protagonist is in a virtual world drawn by a computer, and he sees the brilliant lights through the eyepiece device. Tens of millions of people walk through the central street, whose rules besides the rules of the world are determined by the computer association personnel. He needs to obtain the development permit for the land to build small streets, high-rise buildings and run stores in the block. The protagonist’s science fiction adventure is unfolded in this virtual world based on information technology.
This is the earliest record of the Metaverse. In this world, multiple people are online at the same time, and people can use avatars to socialize or do anything in virtual space in the future. This way of existence is the proof of human civilization’s exploration in virtual time and space, and the Metaverse satisfies the subjective virtual experience of people.
On the basis of the traditional Internet, Metaverse requires more for immersion, participation, and sustainability. Therefore, it will be supported by many independent tools, platforms, and facilities. With the increasing maturity of technologies such as AR, VR, 5G, and big data, Metaverse is expected to gradually move from concept to reality.
The concept of Metaverse is heating up, attracting wide attention from the technology investors. Since Roblox listed on March 10, with 45 billion dollars valuation on the first day, the concept of Metaverse has been widely extoled by the market. The game platform Rec Room completed a new round of financing at the end of March, totaling 100 million dollars. The company started as a VR social game, and its users have exceeded 15 million.
In mid-April, Epic Games raised 1 billion dollars for the development of Metaverse related businesses, setting a record for the highest financing of Metaverse developers.
on March 11, MetaApp, a developer of mobile sandbox platform, announced the completion of 100 million dollars in Series C funding, making it the largest single funding in the field of domestic so far. On May 28, Haima Cloud, a service provider of cloud game technology, completed a new round of financing of 280 million yuan (about 434 million dollars).
The Metaverse is the focus of a new round of capital pursuit, but how do we further understand this with somewhat uncertainty? It is not difficult to find that the game is the primary form of the Metaverse and the way of presenting the Metaverse. It is flexible in interaction and rich in information, providing a creation platform, interactive content and social scenes for Metaverse.
The trend of video games includes user dominance of creation, enhancing the IP cooperation, and social contextualization. Games are virtual worlds constructed by people based on the simulation of reality and wild imagination. The product form is very similar to the Metaverse. The game provides rich connotations of IP for the virtual world, which is a kind of construction of subdivided social scene and marketing method, and it also changes people’s concept of the virtual world.
For example, sandbox games add creative elements to open world games, and players can show and share their own work. In such a world, players can change the world to whatever they want. Take the most popular sandbox game Minecraft as an example, players can explore the world, collect materials, synthesize resources and survival adventures in a 3D world generated by a random program. Players can do it according to their own wishes so that players can freely explore the virtual world, bringing a sense of immersion.
However, there is a big gap between games and commercial Metaverse, and the corresponding technology needs to be improved. As the “primary form” of the Metaverse, games still have a big gap with their mature forms. Specifically, it is embodied in four aspects: immersion, accessibility, availability, and extensibility. Furthermore, perfecting the evolution of the basic technology such as AR, VR, cloud computing, blockchain and AI is essential path.
Roblox is known as the first stock of Metaverse and is the first company to include the concept of Metaverse in its prospectus. The game platform Roblox is its main business, which provides client application, developers’ Roblox Studio toolset, and Roblox cloud services, enabling players and developers to create, play, compete, and socialize in the virtual world.
In 2019, Roblox’s community contained players more than 100 million, and it was used by tens of millions of creators. Compared with Roblox, WiMi Hologram (WIMI), firstly holding holographic concept listed, has become a leading holographic AR application technology provider based on AR, VR, cloud computing, and 5G. More significantly, it has proposed solutions for the commercial use of the Metaverse concept.
·Enhance the immersion of the game through interactive technologies such as AR and VR.
In the process of game development, the improvement of immersion has always been the dominant point of its technological breakthroughs. The improvement from 2D to 3D makes the objects in the game appear three-dimensional, and players can freely switch the angle of view in the game, thereby enhancing the sense of immersion. However, the interactive operations of 3D game players are also trapped by hardware tools such as keyboards, mice, and memory, and there is still a distance from the demand of the Metaverse.
WIMI developed the human-computer interaction technology represented by VR and AR, and obtained the patent of holographic AR head-mounted display. It uses retinal scanning display (RSD) and semi-permeable film array plate waveguide technology, with computer generated head-mounted display in an optical system and holographic AR image source being digital output.
Finally, holographic imaging shows in the user’s field of vision, and to achieve simulation technology for a specific environment. WIMI holographic immersive head-mounted AR display has the advantages of large field of view, low power consumption, wearable, three-dimensional display, and freer customization. Therefore, its immersion is expected to be greatly improved, thereby meeting the needs.
·To improve the accessibility of games through 5G and cloud computing technology
Metaverse is a large-scale participatory medium, and the number of interactive users can reach hundreds of billions. At present, large-scale online games all use client software, and run with game service servers and player computers as processing terminals.
In this mode, the higher performance requirements for computer terminals have created user thresholds, which in turn limits the capability of attracting users. At the same time, the terminal server’s carrier capacity is limited and it is hard to support large-scale users online at the same time.
While WIMI’s platform upgrades the 5G high-bandwidth mobile communication network through the research of 5G, cloud computing and other underlying technologies. At the same time, it breaks the key to the game accessibility threshold in the input module, carrier module and screen module, and supports large-scale online users at the same time.
·Enhance the malleability of the game through blockchain and AI.
The establishment of the basic place of the Metaverse is a must, while the current 3A game requires a lot of staff, material and time in scene and character modeling. In order to synchronize the Metaverse with the real society, the advancement of algorithmic computing power and AI modeling technology is expected to improve the production efficiency of content. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on technological breakthroughs in industries such as blockchain economy, AI, and integrated content platforms to achieve the scalability required by Metaverse.
WIMI has focused on in-depth R&D and market applications in all parts of holographic 3D computer vision acquisition, AI synthesis, transmission, presentation, and application. Its capabilities cover everything from computer vision production, construction of service platform, to cloud software development and technical support. WIMI has the advantages of AI visual production plus professional visual presentation.
WIMI currently owns 132 holographic related patents, and produces nearly 5,000 items of high-quality, high-fidelity content. It has a comprehensive holographic IP rights content. The virtual holographic content covers from 3D models to holographic virtual products, satisfying expansive requirements for game content.
Based on the current domestic market, Metaverse still has a long way to go to realize large-scale commercialization. Network, 5G communication, AR and VR technology are prerequisite elements for humans to enter the Metaverse. To better realize the low-latency and high-convenience features of the Metaverse, the mature state of various hardware technologies such as cloud computing and chips are also needed.
At present, there are still many problems to be solved in the development of Metaverse: the core technology still needs to evolve and the business model is waiting to be implemented.
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