Buzzword Hell at CES 2022

Image: Meta

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CES 2022 is caught up in the Metaverse hype with sometimes bizarre marketing excesses.

When former Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg revealed his Metaverse plans this summer and did so with so much emphasis that he even renamed his company “Meta,” he apparently left a lasting impression. Overnight, Zuckerberg transformed the slightly outdated 90s term “metaverse” into a vision for the future of the tech industry.

Unfortunately, Zuckerberg wasn’t very specific when describing his vision for the metaverse. What happens when a tech leader presents unfinished visions at scale can now be seen at CES 2022: In about three months, marketing departments have invented their materials, booths and slogans on the metaverse. The result is… well, see for yourself.

The Metaverse: Nobody Knows, Everyone Has It

Product manager Nima Zeighami, who is active for Leica in the XR field, walked around CES 2022 and documented the Metaverse hype in the exhibition halls with some images.

There is, for example, the “Lotte Metaverse” of the South Korean company Lotte Data Communication Company, which, according to the press release, sells virtual dream houses linked to real commerce.

It looks like this in the company’s announcement: “Metaverse services currently available in the market do not allow consumers to purchase real products or experience virtual concerts as in the real world, so it is unlikely that ‘they attract customers.

Is Mark Zuckerberg already aware of his omission?

In any case, the Lotte Metaverse has a remedy at hand – thanks to a connection of the Metaverse kitchen to the real household goods store: “If the user clicks on household appliances, he is directly redirected to a store of household items, which is not possible in real life. Not only is it possible to see the product, but users can have a unique experience where a real person will advise them on the purchase. A new era of convenience shopping has arrived, where users can compare and try the home appliances they want without going to a store.”

More Metaverse Marketing Mistakes

The company Cyvision presents an AR hud for cars that puts navigation data directly in the field of vision and on the road – comparable to the AR mode of Google Maps. The demo convinces some fair visitors. The advertising promise too?

There are many more examples: established data glasses maker Vuzix, for example, advertises with the tagline to connect the metaverse to the real world – instead of projecting useful digital information into the field of view, as per the past, so you have both hands free when working.

“Goart Metaverse”, or “Go Art Metaverse”, wants to create a metaverse for digital art. “Unlink VR” is working on a universal wireless adapter for VR glasses, also for Valve Index. Interesting for the metaverse, of course.

German company Oqmented was represented at CES 2022 with AR/VR display technology and a mobile 3D lidar camera. The Metaverse is not mentioned in the press release (exemplary!), but direct access to the Metaverse is promised on the stand.

The two companies Mudro and Coolso promise metaverse interfaces via bracelet and smartwatch, Extriple offers an “industrial metaverse solution” and Seerslab a “mirror city” that can transfer people, objects and environments into a “metaverse space” in time. real.

“Metaverse City” activates my eyebrow muscles particularly strongly: The company promises companies a Metaverse starter package consisting of a Metaverse domain and a piece of Metaverse land.

And before you ask: yes, the “real metaverse” can of course also be found at CES 2022.

All the examples described here and some others can be found in the Twitter post from Zeighami.

Metaverse: Just hype or is there more to it?

So, does CES 2022 prove that the Metaverse is just a buzzword, a marketing gimmick, an empty hype? My answer is an undecided yes.

Some of the technologies associated with the metaverse, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and AI, alter or expand the human-computer relationship. The basic proof has already been provided here. Now it’s a matter of practical implementation and scaling up.

From my perspective, the term metaverse serves as a collective term for the vision of a computing future that is different from the current one in many ways. Metaverse is another word for change, a starting signal. It remains to be seen whether the term itself or the closely associated concept of a 3D digital intermediate world will survive this change.

What Zeighami’s CES snapshot definitely demonstrates: the view of the metaverse is still chaotic and the term is consumed as a buzzword. The Metaverse hype is also spreading in China, where everyone wants to go to Yuanyuzhou.

Let’s see who is still printing metaverse visions on glossy paper and plastic walls at CES 2023.

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