When comparing Meta — formerly Facebook — and Microsoft’s approaches to the metaverse, it’s clear Microsoft has a much more grounded and realistic vision. Although Meta currently leads in the provision of virtual reality (VR) devices (through its ownership of what was previously called Oculus), Microsoft is adapting technologies that are currently more widely used. The small, steady steps Microsoft is making today put it in a better position to be one of the metaverse’s future leaders. However, such a position comes with responsibilities, and Microsoft needs to be prepared to face them.
The metaverse is a virtual world where users can share experiences and interact in real-time within simulated scenarios. To be clear, no one knows yet what it will end up looking like, what hardware it will use, or which companies will be the main players — these are still early days. However, what is certain is that VR will play a key enabling role; VR-related technologies such as simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM), facial recognition, and motion tracking will be vital for developing metaverse-based use cases.