In a recent interview with Venture Beat, executives at Magic Leap, the mixed reality startup that has secured $3.9 billion in funding, including a significant $590 million investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, shed light on their perspective regarding the metaverse and its prospects.
Ross Rosenberg, the CEO of Magic Leap, and Daniel Diez, the company’s CTO, expressed the belief that the metaverse’s success hinges on its ability to align with the real-world needs of the market.
A shift in metaverse perception
Rosenberg and Diez contend that the initial hype surrounding the metaverse was overly focused on virtual realities disconnected from the physical world. They argue that the true potential of the metaverse will be realized when it seamlessly integrates digital experiences into the physical world. The metaverse should become a fabric interwoven with tangible reality in their vision.
According to Diez, the key to unlocking the metaverse’s potential lies in its practical applications. He noted that most potential users and customers are primarily interested in using the metaverse to accomplish real-world tasks.
Whether it’s repairing something, training someone, or designing products, these are the practical objectives that potential adopters want to fulfill. As Diez pointed out,
“They don’t start with, ‘Hey, tell me about your metaverse.'”
While the metaverse concept has captured the imagination of many, venture investment in the metaverse experienced a notable downturn in 2023. The year was marked by a broader decline in venture capital investing, making it challenging for startups across various sectors.
The metaverse category, in particular, faced headwinds as it awaited a catalyst that some believe could be a product like the Apple Vision Pro to jumpstart its growth.
Green shoots in the metaverse industry
Despite the challenges and the apparent decline in investor interest, there remain positive signs in the metaverse industry. Several platforms are actively working to gain users’ attention and push the boundaries of what the metaverse can offer. These “green shoots” indicate that the metaverse concept is still evolving.
The metaverse’s path to widespread adoption appears to hinge on its ability to align with practical market needs and integrate seamlessly with the physical world. Magic Leap’s executives emphasize the importance of moving beyond the initial hype and focusing on real-world applications that can drive meaningful value for users.