Metaverse software rocks. But what about metaverse hardware?
Ever since the re-brand of Facebook as Meta, the focus of the general public has been mainly on the software component of the metaverse and too little on the hardware. This is inappropriate because the hardware is the gateway, the entry point to the metaverse.
There are companies we barely hear about, dealing exclusively with hardware components for the metaverse with commendable valuation and extra strong fundamentals. Maintaining awareness about these entities has a dual advantage for both the investors and the end-users. On one hand, investors wish to have indirect exposure to the metaverse, on the other, end-users may soon start facing the challenging task of picking the best gear for accessing the metaverse from one of the many high-profile VR device manufacturers.
The metaverse is not just about the fancy, photo-realistic virtual spaces we are seeing nowadays. The metaverse is set to benefit even more, from better and more capable sensors, longer smartphone battery life, more sophisticated/diverse haptics, richer screens, sharper cameras, etc.
How to Enter the Metaverse
You have the option to try a limited version (in lack of better terms) of the metaverse or the full version (an immersive experience with visual, and even sensory experiences such as touch or smell).
One example of a limited metaverse experience or just plain virtual reality experience is the so-called ARGs where ARG stands for Alternate Reality Games. The best example of an ARG experience is Pokemon Go which was a widely popular game a few years ago. Pokemon Go is a game that uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when you are in the game and make Pokémon “appear” around you (on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them. This early version of a metaverse experience uses your current smartphone capabilities and doesn’t require any extra equipment.
A more immersive metaverse experience is gaining popularity thanks to the growing number of VR equipment manufacturers such as Oculus VR, PlayStation 4, and Steam.
The first and most important step in accessing the metaverse is picking a VR headset or if you aren’t willing to go all the way in, a pair of AR smart glasses. For the budget-constrained, Google Cardboard is the recommended option, priced at just under $10 (via Amazon). Oculus Quest 2 is a step up from the hugely popular Oculus Rift, as well as being a safe and reliable entry point to VR, without breaking the bank. A Valve Index VR headset will offer perhaps the best experience out there (in exchange for $999 of your money).
Another angle to consider is whether you’d prefer a standalone, PC, console or smartphone VR experience. Standalone VR devices are wireless and, as such, don’t require a PC or smartphone connection or any other type of external equipment. A PC VR requires a PC nearby in constant connection to the headset. A console VR requires a gaming console such as PS4. A smartphone VR is probably the most common VR experience where all you need to do is slide your smartphone into the headset and let it work its magic.
The metaverse is often conflated with virtual reality. It is important to highlight that virtual reality is a subset of the metaverse. The metaverse will enable not only immersive visual experiences but also fully-fledged economies of transactions, identities, governance, and ownership of assets, all made possible by the invention of so-called NFTs or Non-fungible tokens. You will be able to be inside all your online experiences, like shopping, meeting friends and family, going to a concert, and even getting official paperwork done in the metaverse. In other words, a metaverse that doesn’t enable an economy that can support its users’ activities (and financial ambitions) is just a virtual reality space.
How Else Can I Use NFTs?
The metaverse is currently associated with immersive gaming experiences. Soon every facet of an open, liberal, transactional economy will be conducted inside the metaverse.
If gaming is not your thing you can still maintain exposure to the upsides of metaverse innovations as an investor. You can have indirect exposure to the metaverse by owning stock of companies building metaverse hardware (Meta, NVIDIA, Roblox) or metaverse software (Decentraland, Sandbox).
If you are too busy picking some of the best stocks, equity, or NFTs related to promising metaverse initiatives, you can consider co-investing with so-called NFT investment funds. One such fund is NFT Tech. NFT Tech is already an investor in a series of blue-chip projects such as CryptoPunks, Axie Infinity, Sidus Heroes, and FaithTribe and works with influential individuals, artists, celebrities, and athletes to incubate and launch NFT and Metaverse projects. NFT Tech is currently listed on the NEO exchange (Ticker: NFT), Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and Trade Gate.
Too little is spoken about metaverse hardware companies but that could change over the next few years. It took us several decades to fit a warehouse-size computing power into a palm-sized smartphone and now we are inches away from being able to fit a supercomputer into the frames of normal-looking glasses. This could trigger an exponential inflow of new metaverse users (citizens rather). The possibility of that could be hard to conceive by even the most ardent futurists. When you go to Disneyland for example, you might be able to see virtual (or even robot) representations of your friends at home and collaborate with them to defeat Ultron or collect the Infinity Stones. Just imagine.
Author: Mario Nawfal