The so-called “Metaverse” is the latest mammoth project from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The vision is an unprecedented cyber world in which physical and virtual realities are supposed to merge. We present the most important facts to you.
Metaverse – the Facebook cyber world
Meta -earlier called Facebook Inc- is working on a cyber world in which physical reality is expanded with augmented reality or AR – as well as virtual reality – virtual reality or VR. A so-called metaverse, which is supposed to replace the mobile internet in the distant future. For Zuckerberg, Metaverse can be entered rather than just looked at.
The name for the project comes from the science fiction novel Snow Crash (1992) by the American author Neal Stephensen.
The Metaverse contains a number of virtual rooms that can be created and explored together with friends or other interested parties. It doesn’t matter whether your friends are in close proximity or not. It should become a place where you can hang out with friends, work, play, learn or be artistically active.
The aim is not to seduce people into spending even more time online. The time spent online is just supposed to become more intense and meaningful. For example, physical objects should be able to be scanned into the metaverse in order to be present there.
This metaverse, like the Internet, should not be “owned” by any company or government in the world. The vision is an accessible Internet. This world is open to everyone.
In the development of the Metaverse, government, tech industry and academic staff come together to jointly think through the requirements and possibilities of the cyber world. Human rights and civil rights organizations are also involved in order to guarantee the inclusiveness and security of the Metaverse.
In a blog post, Facebook announced that it intends to create 10,000 new jobs within the EU over the next 5 years for the implementation of the Metaverse.
The general goal for the realization and the first product releases of the Metaverse are the next 10 to 15 years. The Zuckerbergs group hopes to have one billion active users in the Metaverse by 2030. The group itself wants to develop from a social media company to a Metaverse company over the next five years.
At the developer conference, Facebook Connect on October 28th. In 2021, Mark Zuckerberg will therefore announce that the company will be renamed “Meta” from Facebook Inc. With this name change, Zuckerberg signals that Meta will create a new course in the coming years and will no longer just operate the Facebook platform.
Facebook conquers the VR industry
The Metaverse is by far not the only VR project that Zuckerberg and Co. are working on. Several billion US dollars have already been invested in the sister technologies Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in recent years. With the takeover of Oculus VR in 2014, what was then Facebook took the first step away from social platforms and towards virtual reality.
Oculus VR sells VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift, the Oculus Quest and the Oculus Go. Furthermore, Zuckerberg lets it shine through several times that he is also working on AR glasses.
Together with Oculus, Facebook is also developing Horizon Worlds, a virtual reality online world with an integrated game creation system. It is currently in a beta phase, which is only open to players with a special invitation. Horizon Worlds is considered to be the first step towards the virtual metaverse.
Around 10,000 employees are responsible for mixed reality at Facebook. These people work on sensors on the wrist that send signals from the human nervous system, making new input methods for augmented reality possible.
Facebook Reality Labs, specializing in VR and AR development, also developed an adaptive user interface using the artificial intelligence “Intelligent Click”.
All of these new developments and breakthroughs in mixed reality will be showcased at the annual VR / AR developer conference Facebook Connect, previously Oculus Connect.