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

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

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

“It’s right, it’s going to be a really big opportunity,” Amon told Yahoo Finance Live. “We started investing in the basic technologies that enable the fusion of physical and digital spaces over ten years ago. It’s no secret that because of these early investments, for the more than 40 virtual reality and augmented reality devices found 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 from Yahoo Finance. Amon discussed the company’s presence in the automotive industry, partnerships, competition and the meta-verse.

And while Meta’s $ 3 billion bill for Reality Labs in the first quarter of 2022 may seem huge, the company lost more than $ 10 billion throughout 2021. Horizon Worlds, the flagship Meta, the social VR app, piloted creative revenue generation late in the quarter and is expected to to launch a web version to extend access to those who do not own an Oculus Quest 2 or similar headset. The platform reached a milestone of 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 deliver hardware and software to their Extended Reality (XR) companies.

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

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

Investment risks

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised interest rates by 0.50% in an attempt to curb rising inflation. In light of the Fed’s rate hike campaign, there is still uncertainty about investing in the metaverse as investors begin to favor value over growth stocks.

The issuance of exchange-traded funds such as ProShares Metaverse ETF (VERS) shows that some investors, both institutional and retail, recognize the possibility of metaverse. However, the fund and similar ETFs were hit by macro conditions.

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

“We have a number of different developments to ultimately create a companion for your smartphone with fully immersive augmented reality glasses that will actually look [normal glasses], “he said.” And I think that’s a great opportunity. It could be as big as phones.

Thomas Hum is an employee writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @thomashumTV

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