Q&A with Danny Parks, V.P. of Technology, Trigger XR
This year was full of ups and downs for the industry, and 2023 promises to be no different. With the somewhat tepid response to the launch of the Meta Quest Pro, the publication of DAU numbers for Sandbox and Decentraland, and the downturn in various crypto currencies; the rush to label everything as metaverse has slowed somewhat. There are some really interesting stats on how many people report to have used the metaverse versus the number of people who report to understand what the metaverse is. That confusion is probably the result of overhype and has likely contributed to the backlash we’re seeing against some of the high profile metaverse walled gardens. Hopefully that trend continues and we start seeing more of the concrete definition on what the metaverse is and what it isn’t.
While we might start seeing less use of the metaverse label, we’re going to see any kind of slow down in the growing consumption of digital content and experiences. We’ll still see more AR content from the traditional sources like Meta and Snap, but new developments in 3D scanning and AI content generation are really going to open the 3D content bottleneck that has gated the creative community. Combine that with an even wider adoption of OpenXR standards on mobile web and HMDs, and we’re primed to change the default content formats (2D text, images, and video) to something more immersive. Expect a continued rise in the percentage of advertising dollars going towards AR, virtual worlds, and other 3D heavy immersive content.
One of the most exciting prospects of the metaverse concept is the ability to consume and share digital experiences as seamlessly as we interact with our physical world. A recent study from McKinsey found that 59% of consumers are excited about transitioning their everyday activities to the metaverse. Research also shows that more than 60% of users will use XR in the next 5 years and the technology will become a major component of the metaverse environment. We’re starting to see the necessary foundations with things like the Visual Positioning Systems from Niantic, Apple, Google, and Snap, and the digital pass through in the Meta Quest Pro. This kind of connection between physical and virtual has the potential to create a real value-add use case for NFTs beyond a simple digital collectible. We still need to see a mechanism that allows for this content to be consumed without relying on a walled garden. And, 2023 will see the introduction of a web browser equivalent for open, physically connected, shared, persistent content.
As companies begin spending more on new types of content, there’s going to be a push for more information about the efficacy of these channels. This is going to be especially challenging since the regulations around data and cookie tracking are more complex than ever. The landscape of 2023 is probably going to get more complex rather than less. Advertisers trying to gauge the performance of new media will need to start extrapolating from existing channels where users are already comfortable with tracking and have control over their data. They will need to focus more on high impact content and less on precise tracking data. This focus on quality is going to be especially important as AI tools continue to democratize the ability to create content.
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