The concept of the Metaverse is to use immersive technology to create a second "virtual parallel time and space" in the physical world. People will be able to enter a new virtual world where they can work, socialize and play through virtual identities.
Metaverse refers to the creation of a virtual world through technologies such as blockchain, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). In the future, the virtual world created by "Metaverse" will not only be entertainment, but will be a complete ecosystem that integrates real-life scenarios such as payment, consumption, and education. In addition to AR and VR in the game industries, 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and emerging high-efficiency technologies such as advanced computing, will become important technologies for creating the Metaverse.
Three kinetic energies that drive the development potential of the future metaverse
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed consumer behavior, with consumers of all generations turning to indoor entertainment, spending more time watching online videos, surfing the web, and playing virtual games.
- More time to home entertainment: According to statistics, more than 80% of US consumers will increase the time of online entertainment activities and reduce outdoor and physical entertainment activities; 82% of consumers are worried about the delta variant of COVID-19. The virus will also lead people to allocate more time to family, online entertainment, and other selected forms of entertainment.
- Social-media becomes faster and more flexible: No matter where the user is, media companies can reach consumers, provide more media and entertainment options to users, and also promote the flourishing of social e-commerce.
- The virtual game world continues to compete for entertainment time: More and more young consumers spend their entertainment time on game-related live broadcasts and videos, which is impacting ordinary video streaming companies.
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For the Metaverse to give people the feeling of “swimming” in a virtual world, the "immersive" part of the experience is very important. It is no longer achieved just by typing on a keyboard or mobile phone, but AR and VR interphase terminals allow people to immerse themselves in the Metaverse. Through AR, (augmented reality) or VR, (virtual reality) devices, people no longer have a sense of being removed from the experience when entering a 3D virtual scene, but instead appreciate a full novel experience. In addition to their use in entertainment, these immersive technologies are used extensively in electric vehicles. Real estate brokers are also able to use AR/VR Technology to let customers appreciate a potential house purchase, or a proposed business construction project. The development of AR and VR technology is considered vital to the development of the Metaverse.
Facebook brought up the topic of the Metaverse, arousing high attention from global investors, believing that this unknown area is full of business opportunities. Investing in Metaverse concept stocks and ETFs has become the most direct and fast way for people to participate in the Metaverse, creating a lot of discussion volume.
Large-scale online game e-sports:
When thinking of Metaverse applications, most people's first impression is "entertainment games", where their virtual identities are transferred to another dimension, and the goal is to pass progressive levels of difficulty, such as with racing cars, etc. With the rise in popularity of the Metaverse, the focus is moving towards "Sandbox games" where there are large maps, and a high degrees of freedom and player interaction.
Semiconductors are the core components of information processing equipment. Taiwan has solid manufacturing technology and plays an important role in the global semiconductor market. Whether it is mobile phones, computers, or headphones, semiconductors are the basic raw materials for nearly all 3C products. The Metaverse will create new demand for semiconductors and manufacturers are optimistic that they will be the foundation of the construction of the Metaverse.
To support Metaverse’s core concept of allowing people to live in another parallel virtual world, the faster mobile communication capability of 5G technology has become a hot topic. Creating the future infrastructure for unlimited 5G is regarded as an important development goal. Telecommunications companies have announced that they have invested large sums of money in researching new business opportunities, and related emerging companies are optimistic as well.
Recently, a new product has become popular in the art circle. NFTs, (non-fungible tokens). Similar to virtual currency, NFTs use blockchain technology to trade digital image files, music, and videos, giving buyers the “right to register" these files. One singer, Huang Mingzhi, put songs and products on the shelves of his salt-fried chicken business, attracting a large number of buyers to bid. Although the concept of NFT transaction is novel, it has already received much attention and is become a rising Metaverse topic.
AI artificial intelligence:
As progress in AI technology continues to grow, it will play a more and more important role in our lives. This technology that uses computer programs to simulate human intelligence can be seen everywhere in our lives; in facial recognition cameras, robots, voice assistants, etc. These AI technologies which are being incorporated more and more into the Metaverse, will attract more and more technology companies to focus on AI development.
There has been a massive global wave of virtual currencies, similar to Bitcoin, which has swept across business and financial transaction platforms worldwide. Future markets are optimistic that these forms of virtual currency will be some of the first items to enter the metaverse. By facilitating financial transactions, stable forms of cryptocurrency will drive market volume, and promote the economic development of the Metaverse.
One of the most prominant feature of blockchain is "decentralization". Through encrypted algorithm code and a growing digital ledger which does not require intermediate verifiers, this independent technology can complete tamper-proof transactions of virtual currency and NFT. The secure transfer of identity and contracts through blockchain Smart Contracts is a major developing project of the metaverse.
Virtual idol, VTuber:
Bringing to life economic and social developments only imagined in the past, the Metaverse makes possible new advances in the entertainment industry, and helps to promote the increasingly popular virtual idols and virtual YouTubers (VTuber). More refined technology and virtual team cooperation will be new trends in the entertainment business, and market acceptance will expand.