Facebook Shouldn’t Own the Metaverse in 2022

Less than a year ago, Facebook’s parent company changed its name: Meta. And by the way, it is popular and believe in the word Metaverse. While no one really believes what the Metaverse is, it’s looking more like VR and The Matrix. And the scariest part of that is Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the truth. But I really like some of what Meta has done for VR. I have both the original Oculus Quest and its sequel, the Meta Quest 2 (formerly the Oculus Quest 2), although I am on record as the first choice. I still use both frequently, and for many use cases, they force the system to have multiple capabilities.

But while virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have a strong case as new forms of sports and perhaps even exercise, Meta doesn’t want to stop there. It envisions a future where we work in the Metaverse, live in the Metaverse, socialize in the Metaverse, and of course, spend money in the Metaverse. Meta refers to a situation where the line between reality and virtual reality is slowly blurring until it doesn’t exist anymore.

And if that thought doesn’t make you think, know that companies want to know everything about you and want to create and control your reality.

What is the metaverse anyway?

Meta Before we go any further, we should talk about what the Metaverse is in the first place. Meta (the parent company formerly known as Facebook) promoted the issue at the Connect 2021 event when the company changed its name. But technically, Meta can’t find the word. It first appeared in the 1992 novel, Snow Crash.

In this novel, the Metaverse is a fully virtualized world that people can join through a VR headset or low-level public access portal. Users can buy real estate, share and transfer property through this fictional metaverse. The novel inspired a variety of real-life ideas, starting with Second Life and the working world. Since then, many similar concepts have developed, some embracing virtual reality and others with content and computer interaction.

The PlayStation House has a shop, games, a social center and more, as well as a room you can decorate with furniture and invite friends over. Today, Minecraft and Roblox allow you to create worlds, buildings, art games and experiences and invite friends to your world. These are, according to the first definition, metaverse concepts.

You could say a game like Fortnite, with an added store and interactions with avatars, but that might be a bit much. But if you’re looking for a VR-specific example, look no further than VR Chat and Altspace VR (now owned by Microsoft). Either way, you can create a guest space, social space, meet friends and strangers, watch movies together, or play games. AltspaceVR can be considered the most popular for hosting a virtual, full-fledged church and Sunday morning service.

But it’s best to keep in mind that while VR sometimes falls under Metaverse, not all content on Metaverse is VR. You’ll find AR in space in traditional games. The idea of ​​the metaverse is generally to create some kind of digital world where you can live and of course, spend money.

The future of the metaverse according to Meta

A digital avatar works on a computer Meta So, if the current state of the metaverse is really any kind of digital world where you can interact with others, whether it’s for work, relationships, or play, what is the future? Meta has a lot to say about this, and sometimes it is both a forward thinking and a bit iterative.

At Meta Connect 2022, the company presented several products ready for the market and early development. The most anticipated and most anticipated application is Meta Quest Pro, and as the name suggests, it is a stronger and more advanced version of Meta Quest. And it should, considering it costs $1,500 for a VR headset.

But Meta doesn’t intend for everyone to buy Meta Quest Pro. The most important case studies are collaborative projects in augmented reality and virtual reality. Meta spent almost any time showing a system that does any kind of game or entertainment. However, what it can do is very impressive. Passage, the ability to see the real world and the main topic of VR in Oculus Quest 2 is what is happening in black and white right now. It works, but it looks very electronic.

Quest Pro promises color passthrough that can make the AR experience look like it has digital whiteboards, interactive objects, and built-in avatars. At the same time, the company promises a screen of such a high quality that you will feel comfortable working in virtual reality with three digital monitors, replacing one station you can to have on the table.

As someone who uses a good three-way monitor, I’m curious to see if the Quest Pro will live up to that promise. But that’s short-term – and with enough money (like $ 1,500), a high-resolution display in a small compact form factor is an easy problem to solve. Meta also shows in the more distant future.

The company has officially confirmed that it is working on a set of AR glasses that can be worn while walking around the city. Microsoft’s Hololens and Magic Leap systems promise to be advanced AR systems you can wear, but they aren’t comfortable or practical enough to wear on the go. But while the cups are a sobering promise, Mark Zuckerberg also revealed a new kind of management for the Metaverse. Using a wrist-mounted device, Meta says it can track simple movements made by your hand through neural sensing. It follows the EMG signal to determine your target, not because you showed the left arm extension exactly as the designer intended, but because it understands what you want. Over time, Meta has proven that it can learn what you intend to do without any movement. It shows a future where you can interact with the digital world with little more than a screen and a chair that measures your goals. Wall-E doesn’t always seem impossible.

Why Meta shouldn’t run Metaverse

Meta Quest Pro with a beautiful and beautiful background.Meta is not the only company working on the concept of the digital world. Apart from Fortnite, Roblox, and even Second Life, major players such as Microsoft, NVIDIA, and Amazon are interested in launching “the next generation of computing.” So why is Meta’s involvement in the Metaverse a concern? Because the company promises to work as an open housekeeper and shows no sign of wanting to be the sole leader of our digital future.

Take the name Metaverse alone. Before Connect 2021, you probably never heard of the term. It comes from a scientific journal that is decades old and has never been taken as an adequate term for a general idea. But suddenly, the company formerly known as Facebook spread the term Metaverse and rebranded itself as Meta, associating itself with the term. You can’t talk about the Metaverse without understanding the Meta. It might be good if both companies commit and follow through to be good stewards of the Metaverse concept as a whole. But Meta has a habit of promising Metaverse to anyone and everyone and claiming full credit for everything about Metaverse. Connect 2022 is no different.

At the event, Meta promised that in the future it will open Horizon Worlds, the company’s solution to VR Chat and AltspaceVR, beyond VR. The company plans to introduce the ability to interact with Horizon Worlds through computers and smartphones. And in announcing it, a Meta spokesperson said, “This will be the first way for many people to experience the virtual world.”

This ignores all the other modes of the Metaverse that already exist outside of VR, such as Roblox, Minecraft, and even VR Chat, Yes, VR Chat, similar to Horizon Worlds, already has a desktop mode that you can connect to. your computer. Like Mozilla’s Metaverse concept and Microsoft’s AltspaceVR.

But most troubling is Meta’s promise to keep the Metaverse open while doing the opposite. Many versions of Metaverse, such as VR Chat, AltspaceVR, and hubs, are passive environments. You can access it with any computer or VR headset, even Meta Quest. ‘Horizon Worlds’ opens on Instagram Reels
Meta But despite its open-world promise, Meta brand projects like Horizon Worlds are still limited to the company’s hardware. The company has announced a partnership with Microsoft and Zoom to bring the experience to Meta Quest and Horizon services, but has not announced anything going the other way.

You will only see Metaverse and Meta properties.

Even the first promise to open Horizon Worlds comes first on Instagram, a Meta property. The company continues to pick up every successful VR company in the space along the way, buying the developers behind Beat Saber, Supernatural, and more. Even Meta Quest itself started as its own company, Oculus, and this purchase gave Meta a source and space.

Finally, when the Metaverse is out, you’ll have to choose where to put your digital identity. Meta hopes to create digital avatars that look just like you, and is committed to protecting those digital avatars. But it is one more thing that your identity of Meta will have more than the social network Facebook. You get to choose where to spend your money on digital stores, clothes, and even wheelchairs to make your digital twin look like you. Meta may promise an open Metaverse, but as it develops and deploys a closed system under its full control it acts like the rest of the digital world doesn’t exist. Now, there’s no doubt that you can easily remove your digital avatar from Horizon Worlds and use it in AltspaceVR. Your only option is to recreate who you are digitally.

And that seems to be the ultimate goal. The name of the new company may be Meta. But underneath it all, Facebook’s values ​​are clear and current. The promise of an open community that can connect you with friends, family, and even strangers around the world. In exchange for living alone in the world created by the company. Until now, Meta has not shown that he is trusted with this power. I’m not sure any company has done that. It is not something we should be quick to learn.

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