Amid the economic chaos of 2022, investors have almost forgotten about virtual reality and the once-promising metaverse. Since the end of 2021, Google’s interest in the metaverse has plummeted by 88%. And actions like Roblox (RBLX) and Meta (META) were absolutely crushed.
But maybe investors should not have forgotten the metaverse.
Maybe there’s something to building a virtual world and allowing people to create their own lives within it. Maybe there’s something to using augmented and extended reality technology to produce better media, create self-driving simulations, or play games.
Indeed, virtual reality and the metaverse are very promising.
They were just missing something in 2022.
And if so, then the “missing link” may have just arrived at the party. And we believe this could kick-start a metaverse gold rush over the next 12 months.
Let’s take a deeper look.
The Metaverse is destined for greatness
To begin, let me clarify one thing. Our team has always believed that the Metaverse is destined for greatness. But we never believed that the metaverse “prototype” presented to the public in 2021 was the version that would succeed.
The Metaverse will be big – but it won’t be centered around people wearing helmets and living in virtual worlds. It will depend on next-generation glasses, contacts, and desktops that integrate VR, XR, and AR technologies with the real world.
The argument for the metaverse is quite simple.
It all boils down to one thing: Humans are natural escapees. We like reality, of course. But sometimes we also like to escape it.
A few decades ago, we escaped through analog platforms like books, magazines, and movies. They tapped into our imaginations to transport us to places we hadn’t seen and to feel things we hadn’t felt.
Today, we escape through 2D Internet platforms, such as video games, social media, and streaming shows. They do the same thing as those analog escape mechanisms – but are much more immersive.
In the future, we will escape through 3D Internet platforms like VR games, virtual bars/clubs, and immersive shows and movies. These experiences will bring a whole new level of immersion that will dramatically enhance the consumer experience.
It’s the natural progression of things. 3D internet platforms represent the next evolution of human escapism.
And our leap to these platforms is not a matter of “if”. It’s a question of “when”.
Technologies always lacked the right hardware
The “when” was never going to be 2021.
The version of the metaverse presented to the world in 2021 was horrible for many reasons. Wacky avatars, cheesy virtual worlds, clumsy presentations by Mark Zuckerberg…
None of this was good.
But the main reason why the 2021 version would never succeed was Material. Simply put, clunky helmets don’t excite a lot of people.
Remember: The Internet didn’t become ubiquitous until a bold company by the name of Apple (AAPL) has created a tiny, accessible, practical, and even elegant hardware device called the iPhone that put the internet in everyone’s hands.
Point? Even the best software technologies only become ubiquitous when the right hardware is invented and deployed. Typically, this “good” material implies something non-intrusive, inexpensive, accessible, and elegant. It’s something that 99% of consumers would use on a daily basis.
Helmets are not that.
The VR technology of the future
But contact lenses are – which is why we’re super excited about the work of a small California startup by the name of Mojo Vision. The company is working on AR contact lenses that compress the AR capabilities of a headset into a simple contact lens, then overlay those visuals onto the real world.
It is a version of the metaverse that we can use. Imagine playing a round of golf with friends. And after each shot, a small contact lens in your right eye displays a discreet overlay of virtual information telling you the characteristics of that shot (power, distance, etc.), then displays an updated scorecard for that game. .
Pretty cool, right?
Or how about that? Virtual offices.
There is another startup by the name of Brelyon who designed what we believe to be the future work desk. It’s a 122-inch-long, 5-foot-deep curved display meant to be placed on a desk in place of a standard monitor. The idea is that you simply put your head in the center of this VR monitor – sitting or standing at your desk – and connect to a virtual desktop.
I don’t know about you, but as someone with four different computer screens on their desk, this next-gen Brelyon desktop computer sounds like a perfect fit!
Of course, Mojo Vision’s contact lenses are still very early in development, as are Brelyon’s VR monitors. But these hardware innovations are happening right now. Not tomorrow. Not next year. They are happening right now.
This means that in the next 12 months, we expect a few of these innovations to hit the mass market. And at that point, we think the metaverse will finally come into its own.
The VR gold rush will begin – and we will be ready to take great advantage of it.
The Final Word on Virtual Reality and the Metaverse
Look, I don’t blame you for abandoning the metaverse. I almost did too. The metaverse version peddled in 2021 by Mark Zuckerberg & Co. was a joke.
But it’s not the metaverse version that will succeed.
The one that will be is the version that combines innovative, accessible and discreet hardware with VR and AR technologies, seamlessly integrating virtual information into the real world.
It’s the metaverse version that excites me. And it’s the one that’s currently being built in engineering labs across America.
So, no, now is not the time to throw in the towel on the metaverse. On the contrary, the time has come to bet big on it.
Virtually every stock in the metaverse was crushed in the 2022 stock market selloff. From current levels, some offer generational investment opportunities.
Find out which are the best stocks to buy for $500 or less today.
As of the date of publication, Luke Lango had (neither directly nor indirectly) any position in the securities mentioned in this article.