With Microsoft’s recent $68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard and Meta’s newly revealed AI supercomputer, it’s clear that giant technology companies are trying hard to stamp their mark on the metaverse.
The vendors’ moves are clearly aimed at building the foundation of what they expect to be the virtual realm of the metaverse, a world that will be inhabited not only by consumers but also by enterprises looking to the metaverse for the next evolution of workplace collaboration and innovation.
Gaming technology companies like Activision are key to helping IT vendors realize the potential of the metaverse for enterprises. Gaming firms may be helpful in solving some of the problems that come with the metaverse, such as how to move across virtual worlds more easily without the dizzying factor caused by many of today’s VR headsets.
However, as the tech giants stake their claim to the virtual and augmented environments of the emerging world called the metaverse, major questions loom over what metaverse applications are viable for enterprises, both in the coming years and in the long term.
Also in question are the role of smaller metaverse players and the privacy challenges that this new world brings. An accurate picture of the metaverse remains as blurry as some users’ vision after a VR session.
What the metaverse is
Much like the early days of the web, many are still uncertain about what the metaverse actually is.
As of now, references to the metaverse conjure up images of alternative realities such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The technologies enable users to move between the physical world and an alternative one, whether one that is like the real world or one that needs to be accessed with sensors, headsets or gloves.
These realities are widely used in gaming and have been used by frontline healthcare providers for collaboration among clinicians, for example, and in industry to assist with such jobs as repair and maintenance.