Metaverse Observations from the Movies

Financial Markets: Updated Format

We are excited to introduce an updated format for our financial markets section that incorporates some of the feedback we’ve received. Instead of recapitulating global indices as we were doing until now, we will begin to feature individual listed companies that we believe could play a role in the Metaverse, be it by developing it, by hosting it, or by creating the microprocessors necessary to power it.

Privacy and Security: Menace and Opportunity

We could not have foreseen when we introduced the topic of security and privacy in the Metaverse at the end of our last newsletter that it would since jump to the forefront of the news with Meta’s release of Personal Boundary. Following several reports of virtual sexual harassment, Meta unveiled last Friday a new feature that creates the virtual equivalent of a four-feet ‘safety bubble’ around avatars in its Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues platforms. Virtual sexual harassment, however, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential for privacy and security issues to impact the Metaverse and people’s willingness to dive inside of it en masse.

Metaverse 201: User Behavior

Elsewhere in the Metaverse

  • Microsoft reportedly shut down its Hololens 3 AR headset project. This development indicates uncertainty as to the company’s future AR strategy, particularly as it comes right after its announcement of the 2023 Activision acquisition. Speculation as to the reasons behind this pivot point to internal disputes. Senior designers and management are said to be debating whether they should develop a proprietary AR hardware device in-house, or focus on developing a software to license to hardware makers to create a sort of Windows for AR headsets. We wouldn’t mind as long as the user interface is better than Android’s.
  • California-based Spire Animation Studios, a new company founded by Ratatouille producer Brad Lewis, announced it has raised $20 million, led by Fornite owner Epic Games, that will be channeled towards the creation of Metaverse-integrated movies. As its CEO, P.J. Gunsagar, summarized, “Meta-distribution, where audiences engage with stories before, during and after film release, has disruptive potential.” We hope they don’t unleash rats, even ones that went to French cooking schools, into the Metaverse.
  • British sports betting and gambling company Entain, of Ladbrokes fame, announced the March launch of Ennovate, an innovation lab to develop immersive sports and entertainment experiences for the Metaverse. Funded with an initial £100 million investment, Ennovate will also be partnering with Verizon, British Telecom, and Theta Labs. What are the odds that this project will successfully pioneer new Metaverse applications?

Looking Ahead

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Metaverse Observations

Metaverse Observations

Every week, we publish an original newsletter unpacking the most disruptive technological revolution of our time. We parse through the hype on your behalf.