The year 2021 and its innovations

A new chapter

Dhe “Metaverse” is suddenly on everyone’s lips. The term first appeared almost thirty years ago in the dystopian science fiction novel “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson, today various technology companies are explaining it as their future strategy. The internet giant Facebook apparently finds the metaverse so important that it recently renamed itself “Meta” based on it. CEO Mark Zuckerberg describes it as the “next generation of the Internet” and “successor to the mobile Internet”. At a digital event in October, he explained how he envisions it. It should be a virtual space in which users not only view the Internet from the outside, but also become part of it, so to speak. For example, video games should feel as if everyone is in the same place and not just using one computer. Similarly, in working life, meetings should convey the feeling as if all participants are in one room and not just in a zoom grid. Zuckerberg says the metaverse is the “next chapter” for his company. The concept is also propagated by other prominent companies, such as the software group Microsoft, the semiconductor provider Nvidia or the video game manufacturer Epic Games (“Fortnite”). (lid.)


15 year old Yasmin watches a Travis Scott concert on Fortnite.
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Image: AFP

New notes in music

Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse plans are likely to have been favorably registered in the music industry. After all, the industry still sees a lot of potential for marketing outside of the classic streaming services in Facebook, among other things. There have long been numerous examples of creative approaches in the digital space. In April of last year, Travis Scott played a digital concert in Fortnite. Rapper Lil Nas X, on the other hand, appeared in the Metaverse of Roblox in the winter. His digital show reached 33 million fans. According to the video game platform, digital fan articles were also sold for almost eight-digit amounts by the beginning of July 2021. Lil Nas X works with Sony Music, who entered into a partnership with Roblox in July shortly after Bertelsmann’s music division BMG. Warner Music is a pioneer in this field and generally very open to such collaborations. Ed Sheeran, for example, recently featured a small set in Pokémon Go for a few days. Warner has even held a minority stake in Roblox since January of this year. However, a lawsuit supported by Universal’s publishing division, among others, underscores the problems that new digital platforms often face when it comes to the correct licensing of all rights to music. The dispute was settled in September. Incidentally, industry leader Universal Music recently “founded” a band called Kingship, which consists of NFT characters and is of course also supposed to cause a sensation in the Metaversum. (bfch.)

Quantum computers from IBM


Quantum computers from IBM
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Image: IBM

Quanta in the second round

Quantum technology is entering the second round. With lasers, semiconductors and magnetic resonance tomography, technologies related to quantum physics have determined scientific and technical progress in the economy for half a century. A new generation of applications has been emerging in recent months. It no longer uses quantum mechanical effects only passively, but actively. Germany is already at the forefront in areas such as quantum sensors. In the summer, the first local quantum computer from IBM went into operation at the gates of Stuttgart. The American IT group is now following up. He presented a new type of processor with more than a hundred quantum bits. These bits are super-fast computing virtual particles and are called transmon qubits. They are housed in a special arrangement in metal coils and linked to form circuits using microwaves. This should allow for unprecedented computing power. Because the number of classic bits in conventional computers, which would be necessary to represent a state of this 127-qubit processor, exceeds the total number of atoms in all people living today, explains IBM. (fib.)

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