The Future Of The Metaverse: What 2022 Has In Store For The Immersive Digital World…
The last year saw the metaverse go from literary text rumination to limitless tech reality. First referenced in a 1992 science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson and then picked up in other sci-fi settings like Ready Player One, the metaverse is an immersive, digital alternative to the physical world, where virtual avatars come together to work, pursue hobbies, shop, play, or otherwise gather to engage in online communities and explore the digital space. The term formally entered the mainstream realm when Facebook rebranded itself to Meta Platforms Inc. (now widely referred to as Meta) in October 2021 in an effort to leap beyond its social media roots and signal a broader agenda around “the next chapter of the Internet”.
The concept remains elusive to both onlookers and industry veterans, not least because the companies that are building the metaverse say it will take years and billions of dollars to realize. This new year, however, will already see the metaverse become more concrete, as it pushes to prove its promised potential. For the metaverse to mature to its next stage of development, players in the space will need to tackle three frontiers: securing skilled talent, making decisive investment moves, and pushing the boundaries on innovative experiences.
Securing skilled talent
Meta is recruiting aggressively from a number of sources, including Silicon Valley neighbor Apple and fellow West Coast tech behemoth Microsoft, from which it has poached most of the 100 people who departed from HoloLens augmented reality headset team last year. Though sales were slow to take off, Microsoft’s HoloLens was one of the first movers in the AR space, making its staffers particularly desirable fare at the metaverse talent market. Meta has also announced it would hire 10,000 engineers in Europe alone to build this next Internet frontier. Making real on their pledge to score AR/VR specialists in a market already starved for tech talent will be a challenge.