Mastering the Metaverse | FinancialTimes

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In four years, a quarter of us will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse, according to a report released today by research firm Gartner.

I don’t know if that’s a reasonable guess or if they’re totally wrong on what seems to me a deeply unsatisfying medium at this early stage. Mind you, I remember the web through the Mosaic browser being just as klutzy back in 1993.

“Whether it’s attending virtual classrooms, buying digital land, or building virtual homes, these activities are currently conducted in separate environments. Eventually, they will take place in a single environment – ​​the metaverse,” says Gartner, defining it as “a shared virtual collective space, created by the convergence of a virtually enhanced physical and digital reality.” It will be powered by “a virtual economy made possible by digital currencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).”

This means that companies, which have adapted their offline activities for the web, will have to change again and move “from a digital company to a metaverse company. By 2026, 30% of organizations in the world will have products and metaverse-ready services”.

Although the term “metaverse” suggests that it will be all-encompassing, like the web, the danger is that we could be faced with a series of parallel virtual universes if companies like Facebook and Microsoft come up with their own versions. Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella stressed the need to develop open standards in an interview with the FT last week. They were there for the foundation of the web, but they are not yet in sight for the metaverse.

Lawmakers and regulators are already thinking about how to keep the next global Wild West in check. Tim Bradshaw reports that the Metaverse will be subject to tough UK regulation, exposing the tech giants behind virtual worlds to billions of pounds in potential fines, according to experts whose work underpins the upcoming Data Protection Bill. online security.

In the United States, cryptocurrency platforms fear they are about to face tougher regulatory scrutiny. The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed new rules that could fall under more digital asset exchanges.

The Internet of (five) things

1. Amazon and Nike are evaluating Peloton’s offerings
Amazon and Nike are separately evaluating offers for Peloton after the maker of fitness bikes and connected treadmills’ market valuation plummeted over the past year. Platoon shares are up nearly 20% on today’s news. The FT Weekend podcast explores behavioral science and asks if Peloton makes us train.

2. Spotify apologizes for Joe Rogan but refuses to “shut him up”
The music streaming service removed around 70 episodes of Joe Rogan’s podcast from its app over the weekend after musician India. Arie posted a video of himself using the N-word multiple times on his show. Daniel Ek, Spotify’s chief executive, apologized to staff for the popular podcaster’s “incredibly hurtful” comments, but said he would not “silence” him, adding that “voicing is a slippery slope”.

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3. PriceRunner sues Google for 2.1 billion euros
Swedish comparison shopping group PriceRunner has become the latest comparison shopping site to file a complaint against Alphabet’s search business after Google was ruled by EU judges as favoring its own comparison service.

4. UK tech sector seeks IPO reform
Tech executives and investors have urged the government to speed up and deepen reforms to Britain’s listing regime to lure fast-growing start-ups to London, given fears the momentum of initial public offerings could slow This year.

5. Toshiba wants to halve, not triple
Toshiba scrapped a controversial plan to split into three companies and offered an alternative proposal to split into two groups, sending its shares higher as it pledged to triple shareholder returns. Under the new plan, the industrial conglomerate’s devices business, including semiconductors, is expected to be spun off and listed, with the infrastructure business to remain under Toshiba.

Upcoming tech week

Monday: video game publisher take two reports his earnings after the bell, with investors keen to hear his views on Microsoft and Sony buying up studios and publishers, as well as his plans for Zynga, the casual games maker he acquired for $12.7 billion. dollars in January.

Tuesday: Held hail ride Lyft reports income, as does the networked fitness group Platoon. In Japan, investors are preparing for another difficult quarter for Soft Bank, after a turbulent stock market hit the investment group’s technology portfolio during the October-December period. Masayoshi Son, its billionaire chairman and chief executive, is also likely to face questions over the departure of his close lieutenant Marcelo Claure and reports that Nvidia is preparing to abandon plans to buy SoftBank-owned chip designer Arm. . Back in the US, senior treasury official Nellie Liang testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on proposed regulations stablecoinsamid concerns about the dangers posed by tether and others.

Wednesday: Lyft’s rival Uber releases its results ahead of its Investor Day on Thursday. waltz disney is expected to post higher revenue in the first quarter, banking on a recovery at its theme parks and higher paid subscriber additions on its streaming platforms. Samsung’The latest Galaxy Unpacked event is expected to unveil the next versions of its flagship Galaxy S smartphones.

Thusday: Twitter is the latest of the major US social media companies to report earnings and they come in ahead of the market open in New York.

Friday: In Asia, profits are driven by the Chinese chipmaker minimum wage and Taiwanese LCD panel manufacturer UA Optronics.

Tech Tools — Airstream eStream

The Airstream eStream Concept Caravan

The Airstream eStream Concept Caravan

Trailer manufacturer Airstream has developed the eStream, with batteries and two motors built into its chassis. They mean it can help the car towing it, so it’s not a drag on fuel or the range of an electric vehicle. It can also be parked remotely using a simple iPad. In addition, it has a roof made of solar panels and an integrated WiFi hotspot. The battery capacity is enough to completely remove it from the grid for a week or two, Fast Company reports. The eStream is unfortunately still only a concept, but it should be available in a few years.

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