Illustrating the Next Gen Innovations of Metaverse Giants
Posted By : Priyansha Singh | 22-Mar-2022
Apple, Microsoft, and Meta (formerly known as Facebook) are the three stalwarts with the largest stakes and contributions in the initial phases of metaverse development. This ruthless combat has taken place in the Metaverse's ring, a virtual realm where anyone can live a parallel life through an avatar.
In the previous blog, Value-chain of the metaverse, we have discussed the methodology in detail. In this article, we will cover the metaverse technologies in which they are investing, as well as the contrasts in their business models and network effects, and how this may provide us with a few insights into the coming years.
Apple is perhaps the most highly integrated firm in computer technology history.
Apple has significant advantages when it comes to producing a metaverse version:
Experiences- Apple's original TV programming is the company's most significant move into genuine content experiences. It's difficult to predict whether Apple will continue to fund new experiences, but this TV programming demonstrates that the company is no longer hostile towards becoming content creators.
Discovery- App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Search Ads
Creator Economy- Xcode, which is required for creating any type of MacOS or iOS application, as well as a variety of developer frameworks.
Spatial Computing- Metal (Apple's 3D graphics API), Apple Maps (which maps the Earth, a pivotal revenue source for ar technology), and — most preeminently — ARKit, the strategic roadmap for Augmented Reality applications, which enables Apple to build a substantial developer ecosystem ahead of more enhanced AR/VR devices.
Decentralization- Apple appears to be antagonistic to the concept of decentralization in general. Their business is based on joint ventures, and they do not share their technological stack with competitors. Apple appears to be on a path to being much more concentrated. Recent improvements to Apple's advertising ecosystem (dressed in wonderful "privacy" features) do not apply to Apple's own advertising network, resulting in a large increase in market share for Apple Search Ads. Other privacy measures, such as Private Relay, provide Safari web browsers with additional IP address protection — but data is routed through Apple's centralized service, opening the door to Apple being a permission gateway to the Web. When Apple refers to interoperability, they usually mean interoperability amongst Apple products, not interoperability with the internet and other manufacturers. Apple is investigating blockchain, but it's unclear whether this is merely experimental or the cornerstone of a real plan.
Human Interface- Apple produces computers, the iPhone, gadgets such as the Apple Watch, and the Apple TV. Through digital holograms, Augmented Reality has the potential to replace practically all of our other screens. Few firms can produce hardware on the scale of Apple so that when they do have a consumer-ready AR headset, it will most certainly become one of the prominent reasons we access the metaverse.
Infrastructure- Apple is now a large semiconductor firm thanks to the M1 chip. The M1 exemplifies Apple's vertical integration, providing a comprehensive "system on a chip" that unifies RAM, GPU, CPU, and Artificial Intelligence processing to boost speed and power usage, all of which will be critical in enabling consumer-ready augmented reality. Apple is the most advanced of the three businesses in terms of fundamental science and chip engineering.
Apple is ultimately a hardware company with a successful services business built on top of it. Apple truly wants to provide fantastic experiences for its customers, but the price is a lot of permission, control, and tollbooths along the way. For as long as Apple has existed, it has worked to vertically integrate as much as possible while increasing centralized control over its technology, and this trend is certain to continue.
Microsoft is the most decentralized of the three tech behemoths: PC software advancement continues to remain one of the fully "open" and permissionless software ecosystems - one from which Microsoft profits lucratively through the Windows os while also allowing software engineers to extract the majority of the value.
At Microsoft Ignite, Satya Nadella outlined his notion of the Metaverse. Microsoft's current position is as follows:
Experiences- Microsoft has advanced and developed experiences the most of our three titans: through original products like Microsoft Flight Simulator as well as through acquisitions, a roster of outstanding game studios that have spawned popular series like Halo, Fallout, and The Elder Scrolls. Minecraft is a household name, and its ingenuity exemplifies much about what the metaverse's creator economy could look like. Microsoft Teams is a communication and teleconference tool that could pave the way for more holistic and integrated worker engagement in the future.
Discovery- Microsoft's Windows Store has pushed software distribution nearer to the operating system even while allowing software developers to disseminate whenever they see fit. The Xbox game console features a tightly-knit distribution network. Of course, Microsoft operates ad networks as well as the world's second-largest web-page search engine.
Creator Economy- A comprehensive suite of development tools, encompassing Visual Studio and a plethora of other technologies And Minecraft is indoctrinating innumerable children on how to generate content in a liberalized metaverse. Microsoft has also made investments in artificial intelligence technology, particularly natural language processing, which will be critical for no-code/low-code creative tools and virtual people.
Spatial Computing- DirectX is the 3D graphics API on which substantially all PC software ultimately relies, and Microsoft is continuing to invest in the operating system technologies that will allow augmented reality to interact with our physical surroundings in a natural way. Microsoft's investment in AI and deep learning technology has applications in picture identification, which will be important for augmented reality.
Decentralization- PC software creation is virtually unrestricted. Microsoft is also investing in technologies such as self-sovereign identification, which might enable an open and decentralized means of verifying and maintaining your identity without the centralized control provided by services such as Facebook Login.
Human Interface- The Xbox game system has provided Microsoft with several years of expertise operating with GameTech and making it work with hardware. Microsoft is expanding its production scale for Hololens, its augmented reality device, owing to a $21 billion alliance with the US Military. Although Hololens is aimed at government, military, and corporate users, Microsoft may get a head start in perfecting it before offering it to consumers on a larger scale.
Infrastructure- Microsoft is just not at the same level as Apple in terms of semiconductors — but if open roles at Microsoft are any indicator, they plan to change that. They are particularly searching for engineers to assist with display engineering and artificial intelligence silicon. The Azure cloud infrastructure company, on the other hand, is massive and serves as a platform for applications, games, and metaverse experiences.
Microsoft is the opposite of Apple's yang; whereas Apple is a hardware firm with a sizable service industry, Microsoft is primarily a software solutions company with a burgeoning hardware business. This is evident in Microsoft's business model, which would be oriented toward attracting the greatest number of developers to its software ecosystem.
"A platform is when the economic value of everyone who uses it exceeds the value of the firm that created it," Bill Gates stated. Microsoft appears to be more focused on providing software and services to support developers' success, rather than taking rents and exerting control.
In October, Facebook changed its name to Meta and announced a rebranding centered on the metaverse. It stated that expenditure on the new unit for the initiative would reduce its net operating profit by approximately $10 billion in the fiscal year 2021 results. The corporation stated that it intends to hire a large number of more personnel to build out its metaverse products.
The breakdown below include some of Meta's latest acquisitions, a comparison to our other giants, and indications of how Meta is now focusing on materials science and semiconductors:
Experiences- The designers of Supernatural VR, a realistic fitness platform that actually occurs in virtual reality have been bought by Meta in addition to continuous upgrades and competitive dynamics. Facebook and Instagram have been growing the number of real-time experiences they offer, such as live streaming. And Venues is a communal experience where you may watch movies or hang out with your peers. The Facebook Connect 2021 keynote discussed how Facebook sees the metaverse expanding within their ecosystem, with an emphasis on "embodied" experiences in virtual and augmented reality.
Discovery- Meta is an advertising platform, which distinguishes them from Apple's hardware business and Microsoft's software/services business. This is mirrored in practically everything they do; advertising must be incorporated into products to generate revenue to fund the $10 billion (and more) per year that Meta anticipates investing in the metaverse. Another source of revenue for them is a revenue share from the Oculus Store, which is another sort of discovery.
Creator Economy- Horizon Worlds is Meta's virtual reality content development platform. It features no-code/low-code content development tools. Meta has stated that they intend to make it possible to design accessories for your avatar that would interact with programs not owned by Meta by leveraging NFTs.
Spatial Computing- Meta is investing in software to produce multi-layer user interfaces, digital holograms, AI for gesture detection, and other goods in addition to the hardware.
Decentralization- Meta's ambitions for decentralization are still unknown. They've had some half-hearted initiatives regarding digital wallets (Novi) and even their own experiments with digital currency (Diem, formerly known as Libra). They cited NFTs as a way to provide interoperability for digital assets, although it is crucial to emphasize that NFTs may be easily established on both a private centralized blockchain and a permissionless decentralized blockchain. But would you be able to build immersive content in perhaps Horizon that can be deployed anywhere leveraging open standards like OpenXR? Nobody knows for sure — though it's challenging to see how it would fit with Meta's business strategy.
Human Interface- The Oculus virtual reality platform, and also the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, are among the hardware components. While the latter do not yet have augmented reality features, but do indeed have a camera, voice recognition commands, and a high-quality audio feature that people find more comfortable than wearing earphones — and this anatomical form-factor gives us a glimpse into what headsets will become. They also invested over $500 million to acquire CTRL-Labs, a business that develops neural interfaces.
Infrastructure- This is an aspect where Meta lags behind Microsoft and Apple, both of which are specialized in advanced hardware and manufacturing expertise. The Oculus is mostly made up of components and chips from other manufacturers, but Meta's employment plans indicate that they aim to invest extensively in materials science and semiconductor engineering, following the lead of Apple's vertical integration.
Other Combatants Will Join The Metaverse War
The fight of the Metaverse, however, may not be restricted to this titanic clash between Apple, Microsoft and Meta the candidates are innumerable, and with technology, both a significant hardware improvement from a historical adversary and a simple feature from a challenger can ruthlessly wipe you out.
Nokia and BlackBerry stood in awe fifteen years ago, nearly to the day, when the first iPhone keynote drove Apple to unparalleled stock market heights. Following the release of the iPhone in 2007, the fate of Apple and Nokia was thus completely reversed, reminding us of the classic adage "Evolve or Be Extinct."
Apple evolved to become the behemoth that it is today, but Nokia fell owing to its CEO's lack of willingness to evolve at the time, eventually disappearing from the smartphone market. This is a lesson that all tech players should keep in mind as the Metaverse revolution unfolds over the next few years.
If you want to deploy metaverse services in your business, connect with our specialists. We will respond to you within 24 hours.