Metaverse: What’s Zuckerberg’s New Project?

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook (now called “Meta”), is committed to developing the metaverse, “an even more immersive platform”.

New turning point in the world of tech. On October 28, Mark Zuckerberg announced the name change to Facebook, now called “Meta”. If the social networking application “Facebook” remains, it will be the entire company (including Instagram and WhatsApp) that will get a facelift, restore its image and eliminate the many controversies.

“We chose the name ‘Meta’, which can also mean ‘outside’. The next chapter to be written is a future built by each of us that will take us even further into the digital connections possible today — beyond the limitations of screens, geographic limits and even physical presence,” the company wrote. in a blog post. In short: the development of a virtual world in which everything is possible. This concept, dear to Mark Zuckerberg, is called the metaverse.

Teleport to virtual reality

The latter explains on his Facebook page: “Over the past decades, technology has empowered people to connect and express themselves in a more natural way. When I started Facebook, we typed texts on websites. When we got phones with cameras, the internet became more visual and mobile. (…) We went from desktop computers to the web and then to mobile; from texts to photos and then to videos. (…) The next platform will be more immersive – a living, embodied internet, where you live the experience, not just look at it. We call it the metaverse, and it’s about every product we make.”

In concrete terms, the metaverse makes it possible, with the help of an avatar, to be present in any type of environment, in the presence of different people, through virtual reality and augmented reality. “Feeling really present next to another person is the ultimate dream of social media technology. (…) In the metaverse you can do almost anything you can think of: be surrounded by friends and family, work, learn, play, buy, create,” writes Mark Zuckerberg. He adds: “In the future, you will be able to instantly teleport to your desk in the form of a hologram, without moving. You can attend a concert with friends, or burst into your parents’ living room to hear from them.

There will of course be a question of frugality, with the implementation of new systems based on cryptocurrencies or even NFTs (“nun fungible tokens” in English, meaning “non-exchangeable tokens”). Users can buy goods and services. “We are developing a Horizon Marketplace where creators can showcase and sell their digital creations in 3D,” Zuckerberg said.

A reminder from SecondLife

For example, in this presentation video, the founder of Facebook shows that it is possible to play cards with friends, floating in space, in a 3D environment. The metaverse also allows you to transport yourself to the ideal home, overlooking different landscapes, to suit everyone’s taste. So “the metaverse consists of several virtual spaces in which you can create and explore, in the presence of other people who are not in the same physical space as you,” defines Facebook.

In this presentation, Mark Zuckerberg also has the choice between different outfits to dress up his avatar. This is reminiscent of another famous metaverse: SecondLife, the virtual reality software released in 2003 that allowed users to interact with each other in a world created by the same community.

“SecondLife wasn’t the first virtual world, but it was the one we talked about the most, especially in the years 2006/2007,” founder Philip Rosedale explained to the Internet news, in 2013. “The main reason for this popularity, in my opinion, is closely related to the very idea of ​​the existence of a virtual world. This is a fundamental question related to the development of humanity.”

However, the software did not appeal as much as Facebook. According to Philip Rosedale: “For me there are two reasons for this, the first is that being able to communicate with others in a virtual world is not yet as developed and advanced as in the real world. It is indeed more difficult to express your emotions in real time. in a virtual space.The second reason is that if you want to communicate, and especially build something in a 3D universe, like a simple house, the mouse is not enough.”

An achievable goal?

Zuckerberg recognizes it himself: the construction of this project will take “years” and will require considerable mobilization. “We need to place hologram screens, projectors, batteries, radios, chips, cameras, speakers, sensors to map the world around you, and more, in five millimeter thick glasses,” he says.

On the other hand, users will have to equip themselves with VR (Virtual Reality) headsets or even augmented reality glasses to move from the physical world to the virtual world.

For now, the realism of virtual worlds is more appealing in video games, such as Fortnite, in which rapper Travis Scott and singer Ariana Grande gave virtual concerts with tens of millions of spectators.

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