“Metaverse” on Facebook: Did you follow something? tell you

TECH – Amid the turmoil following a global blackout and an embarrassing revelation from a former employee, Facebook wanted to communicate about its plans for the future rather than current issues.

On Monday, October 18, the social network indicated its desire to employ 10,000 people in the European Union to work on the development of the “metaverse”: a kind of parallel digital world that became the new trophy for Mark Zuckerberg, founder and president of the American social media giant.

If you haven’t followed this futuristic digital reality project with Facebook sauce, HuffPost It gives you a summary of what you need to know.

What is “metaverse”?

If you watch the movie ready player First, you already have a pretty good idea of ​​what it’s all about. “metaverses” is the equivalent of‘oasis From the movie Steven Spielberg: a kind of alternative to the physical world, accessible via the Internet and connected interfaces, in which we must be able to exist in the form of avatars.

The term “metavers”, or “meta-universe”, literally means “beyond the universe”. This rapid expansion of the Internet is made possible by the convergence of different technologies, so that an individual can experience a world in virtual reality, engage his body, and experience emotions and sensations.

“Gradually, screens, holograms, VR headsets, and augmented reality goggles should allow smooth movements of virtual universes in physical spaces, such as teleportation.Mark Zuckerberg explained on his personal Facebook page.

What are the promises of “Metaverse”?

Facebook imagines the “metaverse” as a kind of “embodied internet” where one becomes an actor of experiences and actions in a virtual world, rather than just an observer or consumer of content. “The key characteristic of metaverses is going to be presence — the feeling of being with people really,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote in July on his Facebook page.

In this virtual and immersive world that Facebook intends to build, it is possible for example to dance in a nightclub with people thousands of kilometers away, to work, to buy or sell digital goods or services. The goal is clearly to have a more inclusive and inclusive digital social life – compared to what everyone is currently doing behind a computer screen or on their smartphone. Kind of second lifebut experienced through connected glasses.

from where is this?

The term “metaverse” originally comes from a dystopian novel from the 1990s, but “The Virtual Samurai,” written by Neil Stephenson at the dawn of the Internet, has a different definition than the current meaning. It featured “metaverse” users whose minds became trapped in a computer virus that infects their brains directly.

If the goal of the dystopian novel is to prevent, and even frighten, the future aberrations of our societies, then the big digital companies have invested huge sums in projects and technologies for building “metaverses,” such as virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).

the world It stated that according to IDC, “expenditure in this sector should increase sixfold between 2020 and 2024, from $12 billion to $72 billion.”

Why does Facebook care about it?

Web and video game giants view the meta-universes as the next big technological leap in the evolution of the Internet. And this is where Facebook positions itself, by wanting to invent new forms of social interaction and experience within the “metaverse” it builds from A and Z by defining its own settings.

Which makes sense for a company built by specializing in connecting Internet users, through the founding social network (Facebook) and also various applications acquired over the years, such as WhatsApp or Instagram.

To achieve our vision metaverseWe need to build the connective tissue between the (different) digital spaces, in order to overcome physical limitations and be able to navigate between them as easily as moving between the rooms of his house.” Facebook account.

To achieve this, Facebook puts in a lot of resources. The Californian company bought Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. Since then, it has embarked on other “metaverse” related projects, in which several billion dollars have also been invested.

Where are we today

Concretely, it is indeed possible to live certain experiences related to Facebook’s “metaverse” project – but at the moment they are very limited. The California giant, for example, revealed the beta version of its Horizon Workroom app in August..

The goal is to create virtual reality meeting rooms via the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset. Participants appear around a round table as a character avatar, and can interact via the microphone or draw on a virtual whiteboard thanks to the remote controls.

Facebook and brand Ray-Ban launched a pair of connected glasses in September. This digital tool allows you to take photos and videos and connect to the social network.

However, Ray-Ban Stories does not have an augmented reality system. But Facebook hopes to start introducing an increasing number of people to this type of connected extension (whereas Google and Snapchat, before them, failed somewhat on this topic).

Who else is interested in it?

For its part, the video game sector has already created “metaverse” embryos. This is an example case It is an electronic gamewhich brings together 350 million players mainly between 14 and 24 years old, who, in the virtual platform, live more and more online experiences that break from the initial concept of the battle royale game.

Virtual concerts of American rappers Travis Scott or Ariana Grande have already been held, which appeared in the form of avatars. In December 2019, the game also appeared Organized an exclusive event for the promotion of Star Wars: Heavenly Rise. Broadcast live, director JJ Abrams was present “in person” in avatar form to unveil a preview of an excerpt from the film.

The social isolation associated with the Covid pandemic has also been a catalyst for this phenomenon. An Epic Games Executive, Publisher It is an electronic game. He made it clear at the end of March to AFPAnd that “In a time like now, where meeting physically is more difficult, it’s so important to have these virtual, ‘really thinking’ experiences.It is an electronic game as a platform for connected social experiences and not just a game.”

Roblox, an online game creation system in which the majority of content is created by players themselves, also hosted a concert by American rapper Lil Nas X in November 2020.

“It was my first stadium party. My son’s first party was Lil Nas X roblox game. Just because this happens in a Roblox game doesn’t make it any less realistic,” Kathy Hackl, a technology consultant who advises companies on the ‘metaverse’.

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