Building The METAVERSE Cloud : R.O.I. from MMOWs.
The Cloud: It's about Return On Investment (R.O.I)
Today, when we think of the Cloud - it's become ubiquitous with Enterprise scale data wrangling and SaaS (software as a service) offerings. To consumers, the 'cloud' is a neat place to store cat-videos, music and photos.
However, AWS (Amazon's Cloud), Google Cloud and Microsoft, realize the potential there is in using the Cloud for media services. The reason - if not already obvious - is plain to see.
Streaming video and music, editing video, live webcasts, Video backhaul [transportation of video data to locations in the back end] .... these are "rich" sources of revenue that are charged by the megabyte used; upload/download/stored and also when accessed by consumers.
The Cloud, with it's thousands of hardware servers and hard disk space, is maintained and run 24/7 at locations around the world and have to yield revenue. There needs to be R.O.I!
A big stream of ROI: Consumers demanding Media - on demand- HD movies, entertainment and visual information.
The Biggest stream of ROI will be: dealing in Immersive media - from 4k video, and soon 8K video for VR as 5G speeds become mainstream.
(Volumetric Video: see a recording of the experience on YouTube)
Then there's 'volumetric AR video' where 3D video will be streamed from the cloud and people with cell phones can already "see" entertainment play out in their living rooms. This will be more immersive with soon to be released AR eye-wear from Apple, Meta (Facebook) and others.
When broken down to cost-per-megabyte streamed, it's easy to see how Immersive Media with it's heavy demands on storage and file-sizes (in gigabytes) = increased revenue to Cloud hosting services.
The METAVERSE Cloud: Building a Parallel World
MMOW (Massively Multiuser Online) worlds:
MMO redefined as above, is from gaming lexicon; massively multiplayer online... and is not a new concept.
Massively Multiuser Online, is where it's at when speaking of the potential of the cloud to create persistent parallel worlds and recurring revenue.
This is what Google, AWS, Azure will be looking at. These clouds already host online worlds like Sansar, Second life and with the recent rescue of AltSpace by Microsoft, there's reason to believe this is where the Cloud giants will be focusing on, next.
For instance, a so-called AR Cloud, is needed for world-scale "persistence":
For world scale Augmented Reality to work, a user 'pins' a digital entity to the real world. That location has to be maintained forever (for immovable entities) or updated if movable. The AR Cloud is responsible for parsing and delivering this data [video, 3d models, sound] with spatial location context, back to users in the real world in real-time.
Where does AWS, GPC and Azure stand w.r.t, MMOW today:
This is my limited independent (and initial dive) into the cloud providers and I have tested:
AWS Sumerian: The image above, has some of my personal thoughts. A clarification on the handling of 3D models - In my experience Sumerian could not comfortably handle a photogrammetry 3D model (important when creating a realistic parallel replica of the real world) as smoothly as Sketchfab and other engines can.
However, it can be said that AWS Sumerian, if it get's it's act together fast - can be a leader in helping create a Cloud based parallel world.
They have successfully identified what would make for a successful MMOW; A.I, Digital doubles of people, 3D models, and a non-coding approach to creating online experiences for Commerce and Entertainment -3d models, of say furniture, can have actual amazon.com ASIN codes. One can see how this can tie into e-commerce - or, Web3.0 commerce.
AltSpace (as an MMOW on Azure Cloud?) :
(image credit: 'job simulator' by Owlchemy labs)
- I've used AltSpace before, in VR, and the experience of interacting with 'people' has been highly satisfactory. Now that this pioneering VR platform is with Microsoft - one could extrapolate what MS could do with it.
- Entire "satellite" branch offices of real world companies running on the Azure Cloud, complete with cloud based MS office productivity suite of MS word, excel etc...
- Microsoft Mixed Reality headsets can allow for attending Conferences, Summits.
- AltSpace can diversify as a Parallel World for everything from Education, to City scale Tourism to entertainment...
Google Cloud's MMOW?:
Strangely, Google has a penchant for being a pioneer in almost everything, then...
without warning, Google gets bored - as intelligent children often do - and kills off it's creations, absorbing lessons learned to perhaps build something bigger or better.
This was the case with "Lively" way back from 2008. Google actually has a complete platform for an MMOW in Google Earth! All they need to do is harness Google Cloud and create an easy-to-use Authoring Platform.
Way back when Augmented Reality was not as popular, I'd asked: Where's the AR button on Google E-AR-TH? We have yet to see it as a fully functional and implemented option.
Who will Create the First livable MMOW?
From my experience in seeing these platforms grow, I can offer some advice:
AWS: You need to look at Sumerian from a Creative Tech perspective much more. The engineering side is solid (cloud hosting, integration of AWS modules from speech to analytics to ecommerce). What's really missing is: the vision of making the authoring a less frustrating experience.
Giving up "MBA" thinking in favor of creative thinking; why insist on a less than stellar experience for authors by insisting they use AWS cloud to edit? It takes ages to update saves that when building a 3D world, is unfeasible. You need to offer an offline editor.
Google Cloud: You're running late when you actually have more of the tools than the others do. You should be: Tying Google Earth (or host a separate World scale engine) on Google Cloud and allow authoring - a.k.a "World Building" from familiar engines such as Unity
tie-in, Youtube, VR, ARCore, Analytics, and Deepmind or at least, Watson API like speech parsing, and bundle it together similar to what AWS is attempting to do with Sumerian.
Azure Cloud: Does things slow and steady. It will be an interesting learning lesson for all to see how Microsoft takes Mesh to a world-scale experience, incorporating Hololens, AI, Microsoft Mixed Reality, and evolve the offering into a parallel world hosted on Azure Cloud.
What's even more interesting is watching META [Facebook] steaming ahead, both with hardware and vision to create Horizons World... Meta have, after all, been the most successful in one area - building online people-centric engagement. -- and that is the secret to R.O.I from MMOWs