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It will take many years and a lot of technological breakthroughs to really get metavars.
The challenge is, computing is one thing, not more. It’s more of a concept than an architecture. It requires a whole range of components to work, and those components will be different in use cases. For example, the type of enterprise metavers environment required in a manufacturing or health care setting is very different from the type required to collaborate on a piece of software in a workgroup setting.
Metavers will be run over the next few years by solutions to specific problems, and not by the blanket, by horizontal capacity, although there will obviously be some horizontal elements that will cross the boundaries of the solution.
Metavers will require a wide range of bandwidth, but more importantly a reduction in latency. That’s really the key to metavers connectivity. Anything beyond one or two milliseconds will disable it. That’s why true 5G connectivity is so important for mobile users with its low latency. Another major challenge with Metavers is that it requires a completely redesigned user interface. And such a UI will not be created quickly, nor universally (each major provider may have its own unique version). See how long it took to get to Windows 10 from CP / M and DOS, and it’ll give you a little idea of how much work the UI will take (though obviously it won’t take decades). And it will not be just one UI – many will be optimized for different things (gaming, collaboration, AI-assisted VR / AR, etc.).
Metavers will require a large amount of compute power in CPU, GPU and special AI acceleration components. There is little concern about being available in a relatively short period of time, as the progress of computing power remains strong and is actually accelerating (more processing power in the short term). But using technology most effectively is not straightforward. And new technologies need to be perfected for even more sensitively stimulating and immersive abilities for touch, heat and cold, smell and taste. Not soon, but work is underway to make this a reality.
All of the above need to be created and completed, defining deadlines for metavars is not easy. It will take at least 4-5 years to get the required number of solutions, maybe more. There will be components that will be on the line sooner (such as AR / VR gaming, digital twins for multiple uses outside of factories, and systems enabling certain levels of collaboration). But full AI-powered metavers capabilities will take a large number of breakthroughs that are not even on the horizon yet, and it will take time.
All major platform vendors are pursuing a Metavers Vision (e.g., Meta, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Nvidia, etc.), but if these big players are going to be part of the new Metavers, they will acquire startups that They’ve cornered the specific technology they need (like many other technological advances that big players have acquired over the years). I expect to see a lot of M&A activity in Metavers over the next 3-5 years – not all of them are successful. But before that, we need to look at a lot of big progressive technologies from startups, many of which are still in the conceptual phase or are just starting their journey.
I expect that Metavers will take at least a decade to fully realize, but its subsets will come soon. As with any new technological field, most people are better off signing up to the hype than realizing the difficulty of making it a reality. So we will continue to hear a lot of bloated messages around metavers and the kind of value it can deliver.
I expect Metavers will eventually add business value, but it will take some experimentation before we know exactly how much. We can see with certainty that AR / VR / AI enhances the ability to repair equipment, assist in the setup and construction of products and features, assist in surgery, train people in new skills, and so on. But we are talking about a new user interface and a new way of interacting with technology – new psychological and physical experiences – and it will take some time to get it right.
Bottom line: Companies should look at how to use Metavers solutions, even if they have not been deployed for 3-5 years or more. It’s always a good idea to move on with the experiments as soon as new options become available, especially for companies that want to stay on the cutting edge. But large-scale deployment will take many years, and the enterprise should expect that, like any emerging technology, not all installations will be successful. It is important to be flexible.
Jack Gold is a member of J.Gold Associates, LLC. Is the founder and chief analyst at Northborough, MA. Is an information technology analytics firm based in the US, covering many aspects of business and consumer computing and emerging technologies. Follow him on Twitter jckgld Or LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jckgld.
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