Hot potatoes: Are you excited about the metaverse? Probably not. But Meta product director Chris Cox believes that skeptics will one day be wrong: when the virtual reality platform becomes so important in our daily lives that it can be compared to smartphones.
Speaking during a panel yesterday about virtual reality technology at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (via Insider), Cox said Meta believes that “one day this computing platform will become as important as a smartphone in our lives.”
Cox said Meta has been trying for almost a decade to create a line of virtual reality products that are affordable, accessible and impressive. The idea is to include it in a wide range of fields, from social experience and fitness to gaming, medicine and drug development. Meta also wants to use it to develop sneakers and cars.
Few people share this optimistic vision that the metaverse will become as widespread and important as smartphones. One analyst recently predicted that by 2025, most of the metaverse’s business projects will be closed. Last year, a survey was also conducted of almost 10,000 teenagers, half of whom said they were not interested in the metaverse. Even some Meta employees are not convinced.
Another problem for supporters may be the decline in virtual reality sales in 2022, although admittedly, a pandemic-induced surge a year earlier played a role in the drop in numbers. The recent departure of John Carmack, who left the company with accusatory words, was also a blow.
Cox believes that one of the biggest problems with the metaverse in its current form is the lack of compatibility with other platforms. “I think the Internet is a very good way to make sense of the metaverse, because some parts of the Internet are very consistent with each other,” he said, “this is an example of interaction that “does not yet exist for the metaverse.”
Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg continues to place big bets on the metaverse. Reality Labs, the meta-division responsible for his ambitions for the metaverse, has lost about $16 billion since the beginning of 2021. But Zuck’s faith remains unshakeable; the CEO says that the reward for all these investments will not appear for the next decade, after which the virtual reality platform could potentially start earning hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars.