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The metasemes, just zuckerberg's whim?
#1
It's hard to talk about games in 2021, and it's hard not to mention Metaverse. Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft can all claim to be building it (in their own way), and many others are trying to get involved. Who will be The first to successfully build The Metaverse is a question worth debating, and few people have spent more time thinking about it than Matthew Ball.

"-- Matthew Ball

Speculation about zuckerberg's foray into the metasverse is mixed.

Some say the next big breakthrough in technology; Some say it's a joke; Others say it's a marketing ploy; Others say it is a technological dystopian nightmare.

Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, believes the metasurverse is the future of the Internet and his trillion-dollar company, and he defines it in its simplest form as a virtual world where people can socialize, work, and play.

Facebook brings us into the future through the metasverse

Some critics say that by entering the metasomes and rebranding at a time when the company is in a public-relations crisis, Facebook is distracting and diverting attention from the problems it has created or contributed to in the real world: damaging youth mental health, promoting misinformation and contributing to political polarization.

According to internal company communications reviewed by Recode, some Facebook employees are also concerned about the metasverse. Several employees asked questions ahead of the weekly employee Q&A at Workplace, Facebook's internal messaging platform:

One employee question gets a lot of attention: How do we avoid a dystopian reality where the meta-universe is used as the "opiate of the masses?"

Another concern that ranks high is: how will we meaningfully guarantee security in the meta-universe, where integrity and accountability come first, when we barely cover the real world today?

Other observers point out that Facebook's metaverse idea is not new, and that many other companies have been building virtual worlds using virtual or augmented reality technologies, such as Roblox, Nvidia and Microsoft.

Others point out how underdeveloped the technology is, based on the fact that in the Metaverse versions Facebook has built so far, the digital avatars it offers as stand-ins for our bodies are cartoonish, clunky and often legless.



Investing is also something we should take seriously.

Zuckerberg sees the metasverse as "the successor to the mobile Internet," an invention that has reshaped all of our lives by allowing us to go online anytime, anywhere, and made Facebook's existing business possible.

If the metasverse turns out to be everything Zuckerberg wants, it could similarly shake up the world, shifting our existence from being rooted in the physical world to one in which our digital presence increasingly complements our real one.

02. We should at least pay attention to it
In response to concerns about metasurses, Facebook, which has changed its name to "Meta," noted that Facebook executives Andrew Bosworth and Nick Clegg wrote in a Blog post in September that "Meta will not build, own, or run the metasurses itself."

"We started talking about our vision for the metasexes long before certain technologies emerged... we're discussing it now to help ensure that any terms of use, privacy controls or security features are applicable to the new technologies and effectively protect people," they said.

Facebook also says it doesn't want to be the only company developing the metasverse. "It's not going to be a job for any one company. This will require cross-industry and collaboration with experts, governments and regulators to get it right, "the blog post continues.

Overall, Facebook is betting a lot on the success of the concept. After all, the concept brought some of the world's brightest minds to work on the project, employing more than 10,000 people to work on it, and supporting it with tens of billions of dollars.

For that reason, Zuckerberg is also excited about having unilateral control over his company.



Mark Zuckerberg fencing with Holograms: Facebook imagines the future of the Metasomes

While the timeline is still unclear, it's likely that we're headed toward a future where we could all go online using some as-yet-unidentified version of the metasverse.

Facebook's determination to play a major role in building and shaping this new realm means that even if Facebook doesn't own the metasverse alone (as it insists it won't), it could one day have a bigger impact on our daily lives.

Today, Facebook must still operate within the parameters set by Apple and Google, the two companies that make and control the world's dominant smartphone operating system.

But in this new world that may rely on VR/AR headsets and digital sensors, Facebook is working hard to create its own rules and operating platform.



One way

On a philosophical level, as Zuckerberg and others have defined it, the metadverse is a way to make virtual life more seamless with real life.

"Just like when we're with people, no matter how far apart we actually are, we'll be able to express ourselves in new, joyful, fully immersive ways," Zuckerberg said in a speech in October, in which he demonstrated his vision of a metasomes.

"The idea is to create a more immersive Internet where we will use technologies like AR and VR to spend our time in virtual Spaces and experiences rather than in the physical world."



Most companies lost interest in Second Life, a virtual world launched in 2003

The term was originally coined in Neil Stephenson's 1992 science fiction novel Avalanche, but now Zuckerberg and many other tech executives want to make it a reality.

Matthew Ball, a technology investor who has written a series of authoritative articles on the metasverse, explains it in part like this:

"Right now, the Internet is mostly a 'push' thing. You get pushed information, you get an email, you get a notification, and then you pull out your device to access it."

The difference with the metadverse, Bauer explains, is that it is an "embodiment engine" in which you are "already in, rather than reaching out".

In practice, this means that the world will remove us from our physical reality: the office, the living room, the outdoors. We will instead plug in our headphones or otherwise immerse ourselves in another environment.



4. Shireen Ghaffari's Meta Experience

For now, any discussion of the metadverse is largely hypothetical.

Facebook is just the first to tell you that the meta-universe is still in its infancy. Zuckerberg has said that "it's not quite there yet" and there are only "building blocks", such as Facebook's Oculus Quest 2 headset, which costs $299, well below the entry price point for VR devices. The HTC Vive Cosmos, at a hefty $600, is much cheaper than the HP Reverb G2's current $450 virtual-reality headset.



A Recode reporter's Glimpse at Facebook's current metasurverse prototype

In order to experience Facebook's metasemes, a foreign girl named Shireen Ghaffari tried using the Oculus headset for the first time. Here's how she experienced it:

Graphics have come a long way since I last used a VR headset (just a few years ago), which gave me a taste of transportation. But given the technology's youth, I found it impractical to use it for long periods of time, especially outside of entertainment or gaming capabilities.

Before I started going into the meta-universe, I moved furniture around my apartment so I could explore without getting bogged down. After putting on the Oculus VR goggles, I did the most important step: setting up my digital avatar.

Meta gave me the option to customize my avatar, including skin color, clothes, makeup, eyebrows, and even facial wrinkles. After spending 20 minutes tweaking my avatar to look more like me, I chose a cartoon version of me that looked close enough.

Then I head to my default Oculus 3D home screen, a virtual room that looks like a tropical hotel lobby, with palm trees, hanging egg-shaped chairs and views of red rock mountains in the distance -- a definite upgrade from the decor of my 500 -- a square foot studio apartment.



Meta Envisions more people spending time socializing in the meta-universe

As Described by Shireen Ghaffari, in its current form, the choice of things to do in the metasverse is limited to activities like playing games, watching VR videos, and attending conferences.

Shireen Ghaffari also played some games and watched YouTube videos in 3D. For her, the highlight is dancing with a robot with sticky arms that beckons me to twist and spin with it.

Later, Shireen Gafari attended a simulated work session using Meta's VR conferencing software Horizon Workrooms, which gave her a glimpse of how Meta envisions the future of work in virtual worlds, describing it this way:

When I sit in a virtual conference room with a cartoon avatar, I can do things that video calls can't: I can turn my head to my partner and hear her voice louder than when I turned; I could pinch my fingers and take notes on a virtual chalkboard wall (though that was a bit difficult), and I could watch attendees all hanging out in the same "room," rather than cutting their heads into a Mosaic of side-by-side 2D boxes, as they would in a Zoom call.

But there are obvious downsides -- mainly, my avatar doesn't have legs (because headphones don't capture your leg movements as well as your head and hands, and there are no legs in the Horizon Workrooms app), and I don't look as professional as regular videos or my own photos.



What are the current working sessions like in meta-space

After spending a few hours in this meta-universe, Shireen Ghaffari discovered more of the new world's ills. On the one hand, she started sweating and feeling nauseous.

Her headphones are pressing down on her face, and every time she wants to play in Meta, she has to create a new avatar from scratch. Her initial discomfort begins to wear off, and it's hard to imagine her wanting to hang out in the current version of the Meta-universe for much longer.

Having said that, technology is moving fast, and it's easy to imagine a world in which all the practical problems encountered in the meta-universe could be solved with lighter headphones, advanced hardware, and improved avatar graphics.

It's also going to require Facebook to solve some major technical challenges, and they're going to need to make a bigger investment to do that.

Sparred with Apple over the general control the developer clause imposes on companies like Facebook.

The emergence of the metasverse is an opportunity for Facebook to reduce its dependence on Apple and Google.

"Not only does Facebook have a different opportunity to create value in the metasverse, but it also gives them another opportunity to build on what they lack and that has been a barrier for years," Bauer told reporters. "For these major tech companies that have assets, resources, capabilities and interests in the metasverse, it definitely makes sense for them to invest in it."

But some people close to The company see Facebook's investment in virtual reality as an effort to solve the company's cumbersome real-world problems.



06. The whim of a billionaire?

If the metasverse Facebook envisions succeeds, it means the company will be even more powerful than it is today.

For now, apple and Google, the two tech giants that control access to the mobile Internet, have set some parameters around Facebook's business.

Facebook designs mobile applications that run on Apple's and Google's operating systems. Apple and Google, in turn, take a 30% cut of any financial transaction that occurs within Facebook's iPhone app (something Facebook has long decried).

At the same time, Apple could press Facebook over its content policies, as it did in 2019 when tensions between the two companies erupted after Apple threatened to kick Facebook out of the App Store if it didn't do a better job of preventing people from using the platform for domestic traffic.



Founder, then it will be a company that makes and sells virtual reality headsets for accessing the metasverse, and it can control a major app store to distribute metasverse apps.

All of this will give Facebook a degree of control and influence over the future of the Internet that it doesn't have on the mobile web today.

On an immediate level, this means that more people will use Facebook, and they will use Meta in a more immersive and interactive way than they do with the current product.

If you think Instagram or Facebook's main app can draw people into a filter bubble of engrossing, endlessly scrolling content, imagine an alternate reality where people put on headphones and just focus on the Facebook design they're in.

If you're already worried about Facebook's impact on privacy, the metasverse will open up a new world of data sources that companies can track: finger movements, facial movements, and, potentially, brain reading in the future.

As US journalist Rebecca Heilweil reported earlier this month, while Facebook has shut down the facial recognition technology it once used on its main platform, it has also said it will continue to use it in the metasverse.



Horizon Worlds has space for online games and user creation

Facebook says it takes privacy and security very seriously and said in a blog post earlier this month, in part, that "technologies that open up new possibilities can also lead to harm, and we must be mindful of this as we design, iterate, and bring products to market. "We want everyone to feel they have control over their VR experience and feel safe on our platform."

Zuckerberg said the company is working with outside partners, including civil rights groups, government agencies and nonprofits, in response to a media question about "privacy security.
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