A Wall Street Journal report shows that Microsoft has lost about 100 employees to Meta’s metaverse initiative. Big tech firms are clamoring to become the first major metaverse project, with Microsoft also launching a studio called Vortex.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft’s augmented reality (AR) division has lost almost 100 employees, most of whom have switched to rival tech company Meta and its metaverse initiative. The large-scale exodus of employees comes at a time when established tech firms are vying to become the market’s leader.
The Microsoft employees were involved in the company’s HoloLens product, the augmented reality headset that has found use in enterprise applications. The device has not yet found a place in commercial applications, as Microsoft slowly refines the device.
The employees have been attracted by higher salaries, according to the WSJ. Meta, formerly Facebook, is one of the most far along in the metaverse initiative. Recent reports have said that Apple has also considered the metaverse, though it wants to focus on shorter experiences for the moment.
Even Disney has joined in, with a recent patent showing a potential amusement park set in the metaverse. Other firms in the space are Nvidia and Block, formerly known as Square.
The competition in the space is heating as VR/AR devices become more affordable and more experiences are being released. The next few years will see offerings from both tech firms and decentralized projects, making for an exciting time for enthusiasts.
Microsoft has also announced a metaverse studio called Vortex, the metaverse of which it has said will be grounded in reality. What this means is as of yet hasn’t been elaborated on, but it’s safe to say that it will have less of a focus on the virtual world like so many current metaverse projects.
The company has published various job vacancies for the Vortex. The senior designer opening of the studio states that it aims to “bring together collaborative science, missions to benefit our planet, and entertainment all while pushing the forefront of technology.” The focus is on creating experiences that utilize the HoloLens device to bring physical locations into the mix.
With so many established firms racing to create a metaverse, the coming decade is set to be one that is ripe for content in the new VR/AR medium. Cryptocurrency projects will likely play a key role in the space and it remains to be seen how they will coexist.
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