What is the metaverse? any related companies?

metaverse

Why did this term pop up suddenly?

The term Metaverse comes from the 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash”, which describes that people in the metaverse will wear virtual reality (VR) headsets to interact in the virtual world.

metaverse
Credit: Riki32

Is the metaverse new?

In short, “Metaverse is a virtual social world made by people” ─── So all AR, MR, VR, online video games, Avatar, ACGN (anime, comics, game, novel), and cartoon role-playing are all elements of the metaverse. Furthermore, through the Internet of Things and various devices (such as AR, MR, VR head-mounted devices or glasses, etc.), people in the real world can enter the immersive virtual world. So far, We don’t know in the future, at least none of these is new. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook can put it succinctly: “We don’t invent new terms, we still call it AR.”

But the hyper is still working, causing a lot of companies’ stock prices to rise sharply (surprisely, Facebook is not one of them). Wealth managers have also compiled a bunch of new meta universe ETFs to attract investors. Obviously “All that glitters is not gold”.

Metaverse-related companies

Although the metaverse is not new, it has indeed been here. What are the related listed companies?

ticker:Product and solution
NvidiaNVDAnVidia’s Omniverse platform is a product platform that is directly and completely aligned with metaverse, and nVidia’s leading products in graphics computing (GPU), artificial intelligence (AI), and data centers are definitely worthy of the title
RobloxRBLX3D metaverse social, gaming, learning, entertainment, work, payment platform
SnapSNAPAR filter, Spectacles AR glasses
Epic GamesUnlistedGame software development engine, and game titles development
TencentTCEHYThe world’s largest gaming software company. The South China Morning Post disclosed that Tencent has registered many trademarks of metaverse and started to develop related products
UnityUGame software development engine, and game titles development
BilibiliBILIWorld largest ACGN listed company
NeteaseNTESReleased its metaverse-oriented next-generation internet technology framework
BaiduBIDULaunched Chinese style metaverse platform Xi-Rang
AutodeskADSKSoftware used in the construction industry can also be used in the development of virtual games
AppleAAPLiOS’s development kit AR Kit, AR glasses, VR devices, terminal devices
MicrosoftMSFTHololens glasses, product refresh and update for metaverse accordingly
Meta (ex-Facebook)METACompany name changed to Meta, company product development focus will be on metaverse. Worked with Luxottica released a smart glasses, will launch in later of 2021
Oculus VR headset
AlphabetGOOGLGoogle glasses, Android, AR Core for developers
NikeNKELaunched Nikeland on Roblox
Matterport MTTRA new way to connect the real world and the virtual world
IBMIBMOwn lots of metaverse IPs since many years ago
ZwiftUnlisted All-inclusive virtual experience
DecentralandUnlisted The earliest native metaverse company

Nvidia

Nvidia’s Omniverse platform is a platform that can fully be regarded as metaverse, and nVidia’s leading products in graphics computing (GPU), artificial intelligence (AI) and data centers are absolutely qualified to be called metaverse. Nvidia’s CEO Huang did real-time demonstration of a lot of the company’s combination of enterprise solutions, Omniverse, graphics computing, ray tracing, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and data center technologies at a global online press conference a few months ago. And it also performed the breathtaking demonstration performance, impress audiences very much.

But the surprise is still to come. Three months later, nVidia confessed to the world. In the previous demonstration performance, it showed the audience that Huang in the performance was a virtual person, not a real person. No one noticed at all: the leather clothes were fake, the kitchen was fake, and even Huang himself was fake. This frightened everyone, because no one noticed it at all!

Therefore, why nVidia’s stock price has been hitting new highs almost every week since Zuckerberg’s Metaverse conference (its stock price is already very expensive, it is simply unattainable). Within a few weeks, it rose from more than US$ 200 to more than US$ 300 in couple of weeks. You might ask for the reason, isn’t the answer shown in the previous paragraph?

Other companies “declared” that they are one the player of of metaverse, or they just started designing menus, recipe and looking for chefs. But nVidia’s dishes have already been eaten by people, but people didn’t know it until nVidia came out and told the guests that the dish you had eaten in a few weeks was called metaverse!

It’s not just product demonstrations, nVidia’s Omniverse platform product solutions have been used in several large enterprises. For example:

  • BMW (ticker: BMWYY) is using Omniverse to pilot the digital production of automobiles, and digitally simulate the employees, buildings and assembly lines of the BMW factory. With the physical simulation function, BMW designed a virtual factory, and then let the robot arms and carts carry out AI training on their own. After collaboration through the virtual environment, the design, planning, engineering, simulation and optimization of extremely complex manufacturing systems can be carried out before the actual construction of the factory or the integration of new products.
  • Lockheed Martin (ticker: LMT) is working with the USDA Forest Service and the Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control to develop a digital twin of real forests to study the effects of fires and help predict their paths.
  • Ericsson (ticker: ERIC) uses Omniverse to create twin digital cities, including everything from buildings to trees on both sides of the street, to learn how to deploy 5G networks.

Meta platforms

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook held a large-scale robbery press conference with great fanfare to promote the metaverse; it started to arouse people’s discussion. The virtual avatar community platform “Horizon Worlds” is freely available to all citizens over the age of 18 in the U.S. and Canada.

Not only that, he also changed the name of the Facebook (ticker: META) company to Meta Platforms, and even changed the trading code in the US stock market to META, which is rare. Generally, in order to avoid the huge operating costs derived from Wall Street and investment institutions, companies will not change the trading code even if the company name changed becasue large listed companies have too many shareholders.

This is why Google reorganized the company and changed its company name to Alphabet (ticker: GOOG and GOOGL), and the two transaction codes did not changed accordingly. Another example is Avago’s acquisition of Broadcom (ticker: AVGO). It stands to reason that Broadcom is more famous, and the company name has been changed to Broadcom, but the stock trading code remains unchanged. Square changed company name to Block, the ticker: unchanged, still SQ.

Roblox

In addition to nVidia, this is my personal opinion, another company that is truly qualified to claim to have metaverse products. You can ask your children, if they play video games, they must know this company. Its platform is to replace real people with Avatars, play your role in online games, and create a huge online virtual world of online games.

Apple

You must not agree with me putting Apple in. But have you ever thought about it, there is no Apple’s ubiquitous mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other terminal devices; Metaverse cannot be popularized in the future. It needs someone to participate, through terminal device login and platform support of system software, to create a virtual Metaverse world.

Not only that, Apple has already had AR Kit for software companies to develop AR programs on the iOS platform. And Apple actually intends to launch a related device, just like it will launch an electric car, has been doing it for many years, it has never been a secret. It’s just that it has not yet reached the super high standards of Apple, so it has not been launched for a long time.

These related devices mainly include AR smart glasses and VR virtual headsets. In May 2022, it was reported that Apple has shown the VR virtual headset to the board of directors, which may be launched at the end of the year or next year.

Electronic Arts is the latest to actively seek a sale, and interested acquirers are in addition to Disney, Amazon, and Communication Group (ticker: CMCSA). What is surprising is that Apple also wants to participate, which at least shows the importance Apple attaches to games.

Microsoft

Microsoft has announced that starting next year, all products will support the functions of Metaverse when they are launched or updated. Don’t forget that Microsoft also has Minecraft, a game similar to Roblox for children to play. Microsoft also has two generations of MR glasses, and Microsoft itself is the world’s top five game developers and owns X-Box game devices.

Not only that, but Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard, the most important gaming company in the PC era. This is a big deal in the gaming world. Regarding this deal, I suggest you refer to my other blog article “PC-era game dominator Activision Blizzard acquired by Microsoft acquired“.

Major game companies

Including Tencent (ticker: TCEHY), Activision Blizzard (ticker: ATVI), Electronic Arts (ticker: EA), Roblox (ticker: RBLX), Epic Games (unlisted), Unity (ticker: U), Microsoft ( ticker: MSFT) and other major game companies. Due to the popularity of the internet, current games are all connected online and have strong social attributes. When most people are playing online games, they will use an alias and use their own icons when they log in to the game platform. Many have even mandated the use of Avatar. In fact, this is the metaverse.

Concluding remarks

The meta universe has existed for many years (I myself even did a VR case when I first came out from school to job market). At least in the scope of the discussion so far, nothing is new, it can be said that it is new wine in old bottles. This kind of trick It is a typical commercial packaging technique, and historical examples are not uncommon. Don’t dance because of media report.

Avoiding hype, there is no need to chase uncompetitive companies because of this new term. Just focus on the competitive ones, don’t bother about the noise. Of course, because of the announcement of Meta (Facebook), many companies have gone up a little bit, but Meta’s own stock price hasn’t moved much. Even Taiwan’s HTC has also seen rare soaring; but just like Buffett’s famous saying, “When the tide goes out, you see who is swimming naked.”

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