Amazon metaverse speculation is understandably widespread given the amount of work most of their competitors have put into it. However, not all have done so with the same level of openness. Amazon, in particular, has been secretive about its plans. But over time, more and more information has built up. And you’ll soon discover Amazon’s metaverse for yourself.
The Evolution of the Metaverse and the Amazon Metaverse
It’s essential to begin Amazon metaverse discussions by first defining the metaverse as a whole. People often think of the metaverse as a digital 3D environment. But that’s only scratching the surface. The metaverse is defined by the fact that it’s limitless, immersive, interactive, and never turns off. It’s not like a game where you’re limited to set paths or arbitrary rules.
The metaverse is essentially a digital world that exists alongside the physical. Whatever you do in the metaverse persists. And there’s a world of adventure that ranges from NFT art, to metaverse games, and even socialization with people from all over the world. And there are always new elements since the metaverse is still in development.
Devices like virtual reality (VR) headsets or augmented reality (AR) glasses are the most immersive way to experience the metaverse. But you can even access parts of the metaverse with game consoles or your phone. And like the real world, the metaverse’s true meaning is unique to every person on it. You’ll have your metaverse meaning, as will other people and companies like Amazon. You can explore the deeper metaverse meaning in the article “Metaverse Meaning; Different Ways of Defining the Metaverse”.
What Is Amazon?
Of course, Amazon itself is the other important component of the Amazon metaverse. But forget any preconceptions you might have about the company. There’s more to Amazon than most people know. Amazon began back in 1994 as an online book store. But the company has grown into a tech powerhouse since its humble beginnings.
The first step was expanding into what amounts to a global marketplace. In fact, Amazon is now the largest retailer outside China. But people often forget that this process also meant expanding its technological infrastructure. It takes some heavy computing power to run a business that moves so many items and in so many places. Amazon would eventually make that computing power commercially available through its Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. AWS has also become one of the most popular cloud computing systems.
Video: What is AWS? | Amazon Web Services
Amazon’s increasingly impressive technological base would eventually power its own multimedia streaming service, Fire tablets, TV addon devices, and a competitor to Google’s Android Play Store. The company even began moving into artificial intelligence with the Alexa service. And they’d take it further with robots ranging from the diminutive Astro bot to the acquisition of Roomba and the iRobot brand.
Video: Introducing Amazon Astro – Household Robot for Home Monitoring, with Alexa
The Amazon metaverse strategy is still something of a mystery. Right now, the most significant sign that Amazon is working on the metaverse comes from other tech companies. If the other tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Meta are invested in the metaverse, then it’s safe to assume Amazon is also. And this is especially true when looking at some solid hints from Amazon.
One of the strongest hints came in 2022 when Amazon began hiring based on experience with the metaverse. The position was for a senior product manager related to the company’s gaming technology division. But not much is known beyond that fact, which might be due to the company’s recent release of a metaverse game called Cloud Quest.
Cloud Quest is technically a small Amazon metaverse unto itself. The game uses various advanced technologies and leverages Amazon’s AWS cloud computing infrastructure. However, Cloud Quest’s scope is relatively small compared to what most people think of when talking about the metaverse. It’s a small city where people compete by solving technology-related puzzles and Amazon’s cloud computing system. Cloud Quest is an exciting experiment in active learning. But it’s even more interesting when viewed as a first step into the metaverse for Amazon.
Video: AWS Cloud Quest – Cloud Practitioner | Amazon Web Services
Walmart also highlights a possible link to Amazon’s concept of VR shopping. Walmart recently announced that it would launch a virtual storefront. This would include full 3D environments and support for the metaverse blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Finally, Amazon recently rolled out an augmented reality tool called Amazon AR Room Decorator. AR Room Decorator is a massive upgrade of an older Amazon tool called Amazon VR View. The tool initially let you choose a piece of furniture from Amazon. You’d then see it in your phone’s display, laid out in your own home. But with AR Room Decorator, you can now essentially design the entire look of your room with multiple pieces of furniture.
This includes the ability to move various pieces of furniture around to create the perfect look. You can quite literally see what furniture will look like in your home before you buy it. AR Room Decorator also has full integration with Amazon’s services. So while you’re positioning and considering virtual furniture, you can check reviews or add it all to your cart.
Video: Amazon AR View: See it in your home
Amazon’s metaverse certainly has a lot of potential. But you might wonder why the tech powerhouse is adamant about entering this new digital world. In short, why do they feel that a metaverse Amazon style is so crucial to the company’s future?
One of the biggest reasons comes from the amount of competition seen in the other large tech metaverse companies. All of the biggest names in high-tech development seem to be putting a lot of money and effort into the metaverse. While there are countless examples, the following four companies offer the most significant competition to an Amazon metaverse.
Facebook/Meta Has Become the Public Face of the Metaverse
Facebook, now known as Meta, is one of the leaders in both hardware and software related to the metaverse. The rebranding from Facebook to Meta isn’t just about a name. Meta is heavily focused on the metaverse. It produces some of the most popular forms of VR headsets in the form of the Oculus headsets.
And Meta’s Horizon brand encompasses a wide variety of virtual worlds and software packages that let people add their unique touch to the larger environment. You can get the full story behind Meta in the article “Facebook Metaverse; Explained, Examples, Devices, Vision & Critics”.
Apple Is Finally Unveiling Its Plans for the Metaverse
Apple might not seem like a direct competitor to the Amazon metaverse since it hasn’t released a dedicated headset. However, there’s strong evidence that actual releases are on the horizon. And Apple already has some powerful augmented reality hardware on the market in the form of their iPhones.
In addition to Apple’s mobile hardware, it has also created several software development libraries and toolkits to help people create iPhone-based augmented reality apps. You can discover the surprisingly long story of Apple’s work on the metaverse in the article “Apple Metaverse; How Apple Enters the New Digital Frontier”.
Microsoft Leaps Ahead With Augmented Reality
Microsoft’s position as a competitor to the Amazon metaverse was always a given. After all, Microsoft is mainly responsible for originally popularizing the Internet. It’s little wonder that it would leap into the next stage of the medium. Microsoft’s current focus is largely centered around augmented reality in the form of its HoloLens.
However, Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard also gave them ownership of Fortnite. This gives Microsoft control of one of the metaverse’s most popular gaming platforms. You can learn more about Microsoft’s relationship to the metaverse in the article “Microsoft Metaverse; Learn About Microsoft’s Metaverse Strategy”.
Google Innovated in Some Unexpected Ways
Google was one of the first companies to draw public attention to augmented reality. Unfortunately, Google Glass entered the market a little early. The public wasn’t quite ready for Google’s take on wearable tech. But Google’s been quietly working on updating Glass for professional use.
And much like Apple, the company has worked AR-related APIs into its mobile operating system. Meanwhile, Google Cardboard provides an inexpensive take on VR. And like the Amazon metaverse, Google also has secret developments like its Project Iris. You can see Google’s metaverse timeline in the article “Google Metaverse: Google’s Take on the Digital Universe”.
Amazon metaverse progress is often difficult to gauge. But that’s part of what makes it exciting. You can see how they’ve set up the pieces. And now you can get ready to jump into their metaverse as it opens up.
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