Alibaba is getting into the metaverse
In fact walk of the metaverse is considered the next big leap in the evolution of the Internet, which is a virtual parallel world. This concept, which is still in its infancy, should allow us to free ourselves from physical constraints by multiplying human interactions via 3D, in a digital double of the world around us. The opportunities offered by the creation of a “new virtual world” are whetting the appetite of digital giants.
The Chinese startup Nreal, a Chinese manufacturer of augmented reality (AR) glasses, announced Wednesday an investment by Alibaba of 60 million USD (53.8 million euros). The funding will be used for research and development, said the Beijing-based startup, which says it has received USD 200 million from other investors in recent months. Although modest, Alibaba’s investment is widely seen as a first step by the group founded by Jack Ma in the metaverse. As proof of this craze, the firm created a specific subsidiary last year.
This market of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (superimposition of reality with digital elements) is considered as key techniques for the construction of the metaverse. Like Alibaba, the Chinese digital giants do not intend to remain on the sidelines of this new technology. ByteDance (TikTok) has invested in several companies in the sector and last year bought the virtual reality headset manufacturer Pico.
Internet superheavyweight Tencent is working on its own metaverse platform, drawing on its experience in video games, in which it is a major player. As for the search engine Baidu, it launched XiRang in December, presented as one of the first metaverse applications in China.
On the other hand, several journalists have warned several times in recent months against excessive investments. On the other hand, the metaverse is making Silicon Valley in the United States salivate. Facebook, which is making it its new business project, has gone so far as to rename its parent company, Meta.