I just saw that Apple has acquired Faceshift, a VR based startup that makes it easier to create realistic animated characters. Two years ago Facebook acquired Oculus VR and Google soon followed by an investment in Magic Leap. Apple is rumored to working on a self driving car and we all know Google is doing the same thing. And around the time that Facebook acquired Oculus Uber was poaching a good chunk of the robotics department at Carnegie Mellon.
VR and self driving cars have been hailed as the next big thing but it’s still shocking how so many of these large tech companies that started off in different industries are converging and out spending each other on these new technologies. It seems as if in their desire to own a new market they’re all joining the fray hoping to become monopolies in these new industries.
Coupled with the news of how dominant the larger tech companies have been in the stock market compared to the other players it’s hard not to think that we’re moving into a world dominated by a few big companies that can outspend others and take over brand new industries. We love the idea that a small group of people in a garage can become the next Google but I wonder whether that’s likely to remain true. I hope so but maybe we really are just setting us up for another Gilded Age.