Welcome to the Metaverse
Hello everyone, Mark Zuckerberg welcomes you to Facebook's Metaverse. What is this Metaverse? 🤔 It is sort of a future-forward social hub, a space where avatars can meet, an ecosystem for connected apps. A VR- and AR-ready dream of bringing people into some sort of virtual universe that's as creation-friendly as a Minecraft, as popular as a Fortnite, and as useful as Zoom, Slack and Google Docs.
Think of it as the internet brought to life, or at least rendered in 3D. Zuckerberg has described it as a “virtual environment” you can go inside of — instead of just looking at on a screen. Essentially, it’s a world of endless, interconnected virtual communities where people can meet, work and play, using virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps or other devices.
It also will incorporate other aspects of online life such as shopping and social media
The announcement of the Metaverse came when Facebook changed its company's name to Meta Platforms Inc., or Meta for short.
What can you be up to in the Metaverse?
One can do things like go to a virtual concert, take a trip online, and buy and try on digital clothing.
The metaverse also could be a game-changer for the work-from-home shift amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of seeing co-workers on a video call grid, employees could see them virtually. Meta has launched meeting software for companies, called Horizon Workrooms, to use with its Oculus VR headsets, though early reviews have not been great. Users would be able, through their avatars, to flit between virtual worlds created by different companies.
“A lot of the metaverse experience is going to be around being able to teleport from one experience to another,” Zuckerberg says.
Tech companies still have to figure out how to connect their online platforms to each other. Making it work will require competing technology platforms to agree on a set of standards, so there aren’t people in the Facebook metaverse and other people in the Microsoft metaverse.
The metaverse concept has become a "universal" term that clouds over the big connected multiplayer worlds or VR apps. But it aspires to be a stand-in for all your virtual tools, headset or not.
Zuckerberg is going big on what he sees as the next generation of the internet because he thinks it’s going to be a big part of the digital economy. He expects people to start seeing Facebook as a metaverse company in coming years rather than a social media company.
The Meta CEO has acknowledged that “no one company” will build the metaverse by itself. Other companies talking up the metaverse include Microsoft and chipmaker Nvidia.
Video game companies also are taking a leading role. Epic Games, the company behind the popular Fortnite video game, has raised $1 billion from investors to help with its long-term plans for building the metaverse. Game platform Roblox is another big player, outlining its vision of the metaverse as a place where “people can come together within millions of 3D experiences to learn, work, play, create and socialize.”
Consumer brands are trying to jump on the trend, too. Italian fashion house Gucci collaborated in June with Roblox to sell a collection of digital-only accessories. Coca-Cola and Clinique have sold digital tokens pitched as a stepping stone to the metaverse.
All we have to do is wait for the next generation of internet. And when its live, maybe we will open a virtual Morning Beans Cafe to serve you your fav stories on tech.