new points for Meta

After a series of technological failures, virtual reality (or VR) is becoming more democratic. Adopted by younger generations of gaming enthusiasts, it is now making a name for itself in the business world thanks to the innovations of Meta and Microsoft. An incentive that could well benefit parts of the sector…

Chances are, before the pandemic, you’ve never heard of companies like Zoom (video conferencing), Slack (business instant messaging), and Teladoc (telemedicine).

Covid-19 has definitively changed the way we work, play and interact.

These relatively new businesses helped us adapt to health restrictions and stay productive even when we were stuck at home. Since then I have become – like many working people – a daily user of Zoom and Slack.

This software is such an important part of my professional life that I don’t know how I could have done without it before.

But the tech giants Meta (NASDAQ: META) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), project themselves much further in terms of innovation.

We have been talking about virtual reality for years. The idea that we interact in 3D virtual worlds goes back decades, when some of the earliest iterations of the concept, crude by today’s standards, appeared in the 1990s.

But hardware [équipements qui composent nos PC, tablettes et smartphones, NDLR] it just keeps getting better, and so do the apps that make it useful. We could very well see the mass adoption of this once science fiction idea.

This kind of change would not be new.

In the 1990s, several companies tried to realize the concept of handheld computers that communicate with touch screens. Even Apple tried – but failed – with its Newton device.

And just ten years later, all the technologies – high-resolution touch screens, more powerful chips and faster wireless communications – made it possible. Apple was the first to combine these advances into a single portable device.

There were many skeptics when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone, but the smartphone was quickly adopted, copied, and became a world-changing computing and communications platform.

Eventually, we can expect this adoption process to repeat itself for virtual, mixed, or augmented reality devices.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company has bet its future on virtual worlds. Even if it means changing the name from Facebook to Meta to reflect its orientation metaversea 3D universe that resembles the real world in which users will interact.

This week, Meta showed off a new version of its VR technology with a new headset called Meta Quest Pro.

The latest iteration of the Holy Grail that Mark Zuckerberg has been searching for that he bought the VR company Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion, it’s lighter and smaller, with improved graphics and comfort. Its sensors are not only able to track your body position, but can also read and display your facial expressions in a 3D avatar in virtual space.

As its name suggests, Meta’s new VR device is intended for professional use (it must be admitted that it retails for 1,800 euros). But Meta decided to go even further to bring the metaverse to the corporate world.

Despite being a fierce competitor to Meta through its own line of Hololens devices, Microsoft has partnered with Meta, meaning workers who use Teams collaboration software will be able to use Meta Quest Pro.

This is evidence that Meta wants to modify its strategy to bring the metaverse to our professional uses. Indeed, Meta’s new hardware will work with Office and its applications (Teams, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).

But don’t worry, the games will definitely hold a good place as you can use Meta Quest Pro with the Microsoft Xbox gaming platform.

As I mentioned, Microsoft is working on its own line of VR/MR/AR devices. It is therefore a case of cooperation between competitors which will last only a short time..

But all the big players in the industry are trying to squeeze all the performance possible out of devices you can comfortably wear, and plans from Google and Apple will soon result in consumer products that consumers can buy.

All of this is part of the big changes happening in technology, changes that will create new markets and great investment opportunities.

Virtual reality has been heralded as the next big thing for years… but we’re getting closer to when it will finally become a technological reality AND commercial.

You probably remember RTFKTa company specializing in the creation of avatars and virtual devices that hit the headlines in late 2021 when it was acquired by Nike.

In France, there are several well-known companies positioned in this sector. Such as the startup Mado XR who made headlines in early October when she created an avatar of singer Aya Nakamura for her virtual concert in the Fortnite game. or Wonder VR who has created a virtual reality application that discovers personalities and talents, very useful for recruitment firms and company job interviews. As you will have realized, the potential of VR is endless.

In a few years, I may write to tell you that I don’t know how we ever lived without virtual reality.

Leave a Comment