Metaverse ‘will be a very big opportunity,’ says Qualcomm CEO

In the first quarter of 2022, Meta’s (FB) metaverse business – known as Reality Labs – was running at a loss of nearly $3 billion, sparking market skepticism about whether the metaverse really has a place in the world. world, the digital future. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that current costs are “laying the groundwork” for this technology to go mainstream.

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

“It’s real, it’s going to be a really big opportunity,” Amon told Yahoo Finance Live. “More than a decade ago, we started investing in the fundamental technologies that enable the fusion of physical and digital spaces. It’s no secret that because of these early investments, for the more than 40 virtual reality and augmented reality devices that exist 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, partnerships, competition and the metaverse.

And while Meta’s $3 billion bill for Reality Labs in Q1 2022 may seem hefty, the company lost more than $10 billion in 2021. Horizon Worlds, the flagship VR social app Meta, tested its monetization features late in the quarter and is expected to launch a web version to extend access to those who don’t have Oculus Quest 2 or similar. have headsets. Earlier this year, the platform reached the milestone of 300,000 users.

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 extended reality (XR) companies.

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

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

Investment risks

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.50% on Wednesday in a bid to curb rising inflation. In light of the Fed’s campaign to raise interest rates, uncertainty remains about investment in the metaverse as investors begin 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 opportunities of the metaverse. However, the fund and comparable ETFs have been plagued by macroeconomic conditions.

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

“We have a number of different developments to eventually create a companion for your smartphone with fully immersive augmented reality glasses that actually look like [normal glasses],” he said. “And I think it’s a great 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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