Metaverse ‘could be a huge opportunity,’ says Qualcomm CEO

In the first quarter of 2022, the metaverse business of Meta (FB) – known as Reality Labs – was operating at a loss of nearly $ 3 billion, raising doubts in the market as to whether the metaverse has a place in the world. the digital future. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that current costs “lay the foundation” for this technology to hit the mainstream.

Despite the skepticism, Qualcomm (QCOM) CEO Cristiano Amon agreed that the best is yet to come for adoption and investment in the metaverse.

“It’s true, it’s going to be a huge opportunity,” Amon told Yahoo Finance Live. “We started investing in foundation technologies that can mix physical and digital spaces a decade ago. It’s no secret that because of this early investment, for more than 40 virtual reality and augmented reality devices available around the world, [they are] all powered by Qualcomm.

Amon joined Yahoo Finance Live from the 2022 Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles in an exclusive interview with Alexandra Garfinkle of Yahoo Finance. Amon discussed the company’s presence in the automotive industry, partnership, competition and metaverse.

And while Meta’s $ 3 billion bill for Reality Labs in the first quarter of 2022 seems huge, the company lost more than $ 10 billion throughout 2021. Horizon Worlds, the social VR app flagship Meta, piloted creator monetization feature on late quarter and expected. to launch a web version to extend access to those without an Oculus Quest 2 or similar headset. The platform hit a milestone with 300,000 users earlier this year.

According to Amon, Qualcomm continues to maintain new, existing and secure partnerships with industry giants such as Meta and Microsoft (MSFT) to provide hardware and software to their augmented reality (XR) businesses. .

“One of our biggest partnerships is Meta,” he said. “We had a successful partnership with them for virtual reality with Quest and Quest 2. We announced at CES that we are now making a custom chip for augmented reality with Microsoft as Microsoft HoloLens prepares to scale, and we announced a partnership, for example, [a partnership] with ByteDance for VR for Tiktok.

A visitor tries out the ‘Metaverse service’ at the SK Telecom stand during the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022, in Barcelona, ​​Spain, February 28, 2022. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Investment risks

The Federal Reserve raised the interest rate by 0.50% on Wednesday in a bid to curb rising inflation. Due to the Fed’s interest rate hike campaign, uncertainty remained about investing in the metaverse as investors began to favor value over growth stocks.

The issuance of exchange-traded funds such as the ProShares Metaverse ETF (VERS) shows that some investors, both institutional and retail, are recognizing the opportunity in the metaverse. However, the fund and similar ETFs lost out on macro conditions.

Either way, Amon remains optimistic about the future of Metaverse and XR technology.

“We have a lot of different enhancements to eventually create a companion for your smartphone with fully immersive augmented reality glasses that look real. [normal glasses]”he said.” And I think it’s a good opportunity. It could be as big as phones.

Thomas Hum is a staff writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @thomashumTV

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