Facebook and Meta are two terms that people have recently seen repeatedly on the news. Meta is Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for pursuing the metaverse as the next social platform and has led to the renaming of the brand Facebook as Meta. Meta is a word derived from Greek and is expected to be ‘something beyond’ just like Zukerberg envisions.
A metaverse can be described as a network of always-online virtual worlds. Here a large number of individuals can interact with one another and digital objects while controlling virtual versions of themselves called avatars beyond the hard cold reality of the physical world.
A metaverse can be broadly segmented into two parts :
1. The first one deals with blockchain-based goods that use cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). A NFT is owning a single, non-transferable digital asset maintained on a blockchain. If these NFTs become a widely used method for trading products, they may speed up the adoption of Extended Reality.
2. The second is the virtual world in which people can meet and greet one another. Meta is already working on this version. The concept of virtual, 3D worlds that are accessible and interactive in real time will require widespread acceptance of extended reality if they are to become feasible in the near future.
It is not a novel concept to integrate physical reality and the virtual world. Virtual reality has remained a niche market for hobbyists and enthusiasts. The recent developments have therefore sparked discussions and debates all over the globe on this emerging technology. Virtual tech fans are awaiting to see what Meta rolls up in the near future.
Meta Inception in Reality
The metaverse is the internet’s future, and it includes the development of a new, real-time 3D infrastructure. Facebook had announced in October 2021 that it would devote $50 million to its development. People can exist, talk, and participate in a virtual realm, but the new infrastructure is still in development.
The social media giant has previously revealed its intention to hire 10,000 people in the European Union over the next five years in order to build a strong virtual world. Although presently, companies like Fortnite and Roblox Corp have a head start in the world of augmented and virtual reality.
Meta suggests that the initial step in bringing this concept to life might be physical rather than virtual. According to sources familiar with the idea and documents seen by The New York Times, the social media corporation formerly known as Facebook has explored creating retail outlets that will eventually cover the globe. They claimed the stores will be used to introduce consumers to the company’s Reality Labs division’s technologies, such as virtual reality headsets and, eventually, augmented reality eyeglasses.
These devices serve as portals to the metaverse, a futuristic digital realm in which people can easily transition from virtual to augmented reality. Meta is working on a sophisticated pancake optics that will deliver visuals at a high precision rate. Its expected to have a slimmer profile than the regular lenses for their devices.
They also launched their Rayban smart glasses that takes pictures and videos at a click. Zukerberg says they are trying to develop an augmented reality that can fit into a 5mm thick glasses and still have a supercomputer providing its cool features.
The stores would demonstrate that virtual reality and augmented reality can be enjoyable and thrilling, just as Zuckerberg intends. According to several corporate documents seen by The Times, the stores’ objective is to make the world more accessible and connected. According to the documents, they are also meant to induce feelings of curiosity, connection, and a sensation of being welcomed when experimenting with headphones in a judgment-free journey.
Talks about actual storefronts began many months before Facebook’s rebranding, with substantial work on the plan beginning last year, according to the sources. They also stated that the project, which is still in the preliminary stages, may not go further. However, if Meta decides to open stores, it will be a first for a tech company that has mostly operated digitally, with over 3.5 billion people using its apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.
Virtual reality is a niche industry for hobbyists and enthusiasts, despite Meta’s Reality Labs division’s moderate past success with the Oculus Quest 2, a low-cost headset that was popular last year. Their hardware is usually complex and expensive to use. Some users have also complained that the headsets make them feel nauseated.
Former employee turned whistleblower Frances Haugen amassed hundreds of pages of internal records, which she recently shared with lawmakers and the media. She claimed that Facebook was not doing enough to protect society from the dangers it poses and the risk in terms of privacy and security of data.
The regulators will face a big hurdle when Meta acquires a currency. It would pose both familiar and unexpected problems about how the virtual space is regulated, how its contents are moderated, and how our shared sense of reality would be affected by its infiltration.
If the metaverse is to replace the internet, who builds it and how it is built is critical to the economy’s and society’s long-term success. Meta wants to be a leader in building the metaverse, and one of the ways it plans to do it is by investing extensively in virtual reality.
In an interview, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized that the metaverse innovation will encompass both non-immersive platforms such as today’s social media and immersive 3D media technologies such as virtual reality, and that it will be embraced as both work and play.
The metaverse impact has the potential to revolutionise the remote working environment. Rather than bringing employees together on a video call grid, all employees can join the conference in a virtual office and feel as if they are in the same room.
By putting even more of our lives on a universal platform, the concept of a metaverse takes it to a new level. It provides us with an infinite number of ways to escape the limits of the physical world, but it only does so by imposing limitations of what the metaverse will allow.
The idea of Meta is revolutionary for all the netizens. It is going to redefine our relationships and society on a whole another level. The rapid development of virtual reality technology is highly anticipated to transform how each enterprises conduct their businesses, and how each individual will interact with another.