The metaverse, one of the most buzzy terms of the tech industry, could be many things. It could be a virtual world where imagination is the only limit. Or it could be a less fantastical place for holding business meetings without leaving home.
For the tech titans getting behind this big idea, the metaverse could be something more tangible: the next great way to make piles of money.
After 15 years of riding a boom in mobile computing that has turned tech’s biggest companies
into giants worth trillions of dollars, the power brokers of the industry believe that controlling the doors into the metaverse and virtual reality could be the centrepiece of a new business, like smartphones and apps or personal computers and web browsers in the 1990s.
Fifteen years is a long time for the industry to wait for a new tech trend to come along. Ideas that many hoped would take the central stage by now, like advanced artificial intelligence and quantum computing, are taking longer than some had anticipated. And the technology behind cryptocurrencies and newer ideas like decentralized computing appears promising – but its mainstream appeal is still unclear.