Monday, August 15

Google also thinks about the metaverse, but they are more cautious than Zuckerberg: they go ‘game by game’ after their past failures

The metaverse is the big talking point in the tech industry today, and it is, above all, because an industry mogul like Mark Zuckerberg is hell-bent on talking about himNot because this new frontier of the internet is already developed or it is clear that it will work. Such is the noise that is already splashing other companies that, in principle, are taking the issue with much more prudence, such as Google.

The CEO of Californians, Sundar Pichai, was asked about the multinational’s projects in the fields of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) during your third quarter results presentation, and he was far more restrained in his comments than his Facebook counterpart. The Google leader explained that They are thinking a lot about environmental computing and that they consider that it is a matter of time before smartphones give way to better ways of accessing the digital universe, like smart glasses.

Pichai shared some of the projects they are currently working on at Alphabet (Google parent), most of them focused on augmented reality, although some also on virtual reality. Thus, for example, he explained that they are working to make YouTube work in both VR and AR environments or improvements for Google Lens.

However, Google’s short-term focus seems to be focused on augmented reality, because they do not seem to have found a satisfactory way out of virtual reality as a business yet. Especially after his last big failure in this field: glasses Cardboard and the platform associated with them, Daydream View VR.

This is not to say that Google loses sight of virtual reality and its vast expanse in a possible metaverse, but their previous failures seem to have taught them to take it easy. Do not forget that Google Glass they were a resounding failure a few years ago, and now Alphabet is giving them a second chance. With VR technology, everything indicates that the path they will follow will be the same and they will bet on going little by little, without leaving it aside or risking too much.

Failure, a regular companion of technology

Embarking on innovative technology research and development projects is an extremely risky path, in which, as in almost everything in life, if the daring goes well, the benefits obtained from it will be much more substantial than those that would have been achieved by betting on the known. Although, if it fails, the losses can be dramatic.

Technology multinationals are used to making these types of bets, in which they invest many millions of dollars a year, and fail, as comrade Javier Pastor tells in this article. Most of them, however, they choose to diversify and commit amounts that, although important, will in no case jeopardize the viability of the business, as Google has done with its Glass or Cardboard.

That’s why Facebook’s risky investment in the metaverse is so striking. Beyond the turra that Zuckerberg is giving with him every time he speaks in public, the truth is that the social network You are investing huge amounts in this project alone, and you plan to increase your disbursement in the coming years.

In the last presentation of quarterly results of the social network, the CEO assured that This fiscal year they are going to reduce their operating profit by about $ 10 billion due to huge expenses from Facebook Reality Labs., the division of the company that handles research on virtual and augmented reality. And he announced that they plan that this disbursement will increase in the coming years. Additionally, Facebook recently announced that it is hiring 10,000 new employees in Europe alone to develop the metaverse.

Such an important bet is surprising, above all, because If the metaverse turns out not to be the gold mine that Zuckerberg predicts, the huge investment he is already making and plans to increase in the coming years could mean a serious economic setback for Facebook.. And more if we take into account the multiple scandals you’re dealing with lately, many of which could carry significant monetary penalties.

However, Facebook still has money to burn. In 2020 reported profits of just over 29,000 million dollars, 58% more than the previous period. But the goose that lays the golden eggs won’t live forever, and Zuckerberg has laid more cards on the table than business prudence recommends for his long-awaited metaverse.. You have to see it very clearly.