Metaverse: the next generation of the Internet?

Metaverse: the next generation of the Internet?

23 February 2022Reading time: 4 minutes

The Metaverse is a digital world where people can meet and interact in real time, and a place where almost anything could be possible in the future. But does the Metaverse have what it takes to become the next major technological development? The topic has been attracting attention recently - and could open up opportunities for both companies and investors.

Metaverse - the virtual twin

Imagine going into the office, sitting down at your desk, having a coffee with your colleagues during the break, or sitting together in a meeting room to hold a meeting. Now imagine that you have done all this virtually - in reality, you are sitting at your desk at home. Your entire workflow has taken place virtually: in the metaverse, a virtual twin of our real world.

The possibilities the Metaverse offers and what you can do in this virtual world are even more far-reaching. As in the real world, it should become possible to work, travel, meet friends, attend concerts, or buy houses. Unlike the situation that takes place purely virtually, however, the costs of doing so can become very real. Real estate, luxury goods and art, for example, are currently among the most expensive goods in various virtual worlds. And just as in real life, prices and the number of sales are rising rapidly in the metaverse. According to the financial information service Bloomberg Intelligence, the metaverse business is expected to be worth around 800 billion U.S. dollars by 2024 - and the opportunities for growth have not yet been exhausted. A huge new market awaits.

But what exactly is the Metaverse?

Considered the next generation of the Internet, the metaverse is a place where the physical and digital worlds come together. In this "network of the future", the Internet as we know it today is combined with new, virtual worlds and elements from the real world in an innovative construction. As a further development of social technologies, the metaverse enables digital images of people, so-called avatars, to interact with each other in a variety of situations. Whether at work, in the office, attending concerts or sporting events, or even trying on clothes, the metaverse provides a space for endless, interconnected virtual communities. Access is enabled using virtual reality (VR) headsets, augmented reality (AR) glasses, smartphone apps or other devices. It is, therefore, a virtual parallel reality in which all participants are interconnected.

Future or present? Already visible in the gaming sector

One area in which the metaverse can already be experienced, at least in part, is the gaming industry. Games like Second Life, Roblox, Minecraft or Fortnite are strongly reminiscent of the metaverse. Players create their own avatars and equip them with individual accessories. Some of these games even have their own digital currency.

The Metaverse, however, is not just a place for fun and games. In addition to the technology industry, companies from a wide range of sectors, such as the financial industry, the real estate sector or even the art industry, are sensing big business. But for the metaverse to become a reality, some technological developments are necessary. The two-dimensional Internet must be transformed into a three-dimensional world that can be seen, heard and felt. In short, a world must be created that feels similar to reality.

Numerous companies invest in the Metaverse

The trend received a lot of attention at the end of 2021 when Mark Zuckerberg - the founder of Facebook - renamed his company "Meta Platforms". Not only does he want to take his company into a new era, he talks about the Metaverse as "a new generation of the Internet". But it's not just pioneer Meta that wants a share of the huge market. In the meantime, numerous tech companies have staked their claim to the new digital world. Among them, for example, is tech giant Microsoft, which recently announced the acquisition of Activision Blizzard - a game developer. In addition, graphics card manufacturer NVIDIA, Walt Disney, Netflix and smaller players such as Roblox have joined the race.

Major technological progress necessary

The necessary technology is currently still in its infancy. Significant advances in computer power, artificial intelligence, internet bandwidth and blockchain technology are needed to make the vision a reality. Artificial intelligence, for example, is critical to ensure that errors in the simulation can be detected and automatically corrected. Tremendous computing power will be necessary to make the virtual world appear real and to avoid even the smallest delays in transmission. In addition, a wide variety of technological aids, such as sensors or virtual reality glasses, are indispensable to allow the virtual world to even come into existence. Last but not least, the virtual world requires some kind of currency and a functioning economy. This is made possible by non-exchangeable tokens, so-called NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). These cannot be copied and can be clearly assigned to an owner. Whether this technological progress can really be achieved is still unclear today. However, many experts agree that the metaverse has what it takes to become the "next big thing.

Invest in the Metaverse

Last year, Vontobel issued a tracker certificate on a fixed Metaverse basket with a maturity until 2023. In order to continue to satisfy the fast-moving future trend, a product on a dynamic strategy index (Vontobel Metaverse Index) without a fixed maturity now follows.

The Strategic Certificate on the Vontobel Metaverse Index tracks 30 companies that have an exposure to the metaverse. Relevant technologies such as virtual or augmented reality, digital payment, blockchain, semiconductors and cryptocurrencies are identified and included in the index. Investors can thus invest in the trend of the Metaverse with just one investment. The index fee 1.25% p.a.. The index is calculated in US dollars, resulting in a foreign currency risk for investors. Investors in the certificate also bear the market risk of the shares contained in the index, similar to a direct investment, i.e. price declines, similar to the recent decline in the tech sector, are possible.

Conclusion:

The Metaverse is a digital world where people can meet and interact in real time, and a place where almost anything could be possible in the future. The Metaverse will include a fully functional digital economy. That is why the Metaverse should evaluated as a parallel digital version of our reality. The metaverse will not appear overnight. Rather, it is likely to be a technological evolution of the Internet - and a digital twin of our real world. However, since the metaverse is a new technological topic that will require extensive investment in the future, it is not yet possible to predict whether it will be successful or profitable for the companies involved.

27/05/2022 17:45:21

 

Write a Comment

 

  

 

  

 

* Required fields need to be filled in