Metaverse: five questions about Facebook’s new virtual world

Posted October 29, 2021, 1:21 pmUpdated October 29, 2021 at. 15:31

Strategic shift on Facebook. Born as a social network, Mark Zuckerberg’s company no longer wants to be just a group of mobile applications. It now intends to become a metaverse company that even goes so far as to rename itself “Meta” to mark its ambitions in detail Thursday night. During an online conference, the billionaire boss revealed his vision for a technology that could transform the Internet as we know it today. Explanations.

1. What is the meta-verse?

Inspired by science fiction, and especially the novel “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson or “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline, the meta-verse is presented as a virtual and immersive online world. Everyone can live a part of their life there, in the form of an avatar or a hologram. For Meta, this universe promises more social contacts without moving, whether it’s organizing a work meeting, attending a fitness class, or strolling through a pixel store. But the competition has other ideas: For Epic Games, the universe of the hugely popular game Fortnite is already hosting virtual mini-concerts with 12 million spectators.

2. How do I access the meta-verse?

As predicted by Mark Zuckerberg, the meta-verse opens up for those equipped with electronic devices like virtual reality headsets and augmented reality glasses. The first, like the Oculus Quest developed by Meta and sold for around $ 300, completely immerses the user’s gaze in a 3D setting. To move, it is also necessary to equip controllers at the level of the hands. To move around, some imagine a treadmill system. Besides Meta, HTC, Sony already have their headsets. According to information from Bloomberg, it will be marketed by Apple in 2022.

By simply superimposing a digital image on top of the real view, augmented reality is considered by experts to be easier to adopt by the general public. As a kind of ubiquitous gift, it will be possible to follow an event in the metaverse out of the corner of the eye while participating in a discussion in the physical world … Meta is also working on a pair of augmented reality glasses. He is not the only one. Microsoft already has its device with Hololens. Apple is also expected in these technologies.

3. Who will build the meta-verse?

Mark Zuckerberg will look great. Metaverset “is not limited to a single company and each of us is necessary to make it happen”, he was careful to emphasize in the presentation of Meta. But it is primarily aimed at small developers who want to enrich Meta’s world with immersive experiences (trade, culture, tourism, entertainment, etc.), in the same way that start-ups have multiplied the services available on smartphones. 2000s.

4. Who invests in the metaverse?

To create the framework that these future partners will need – a virtual universe, an online payment system – Meta will invest $ 10 billion in 2021. alone, forcing a number of competitors to withdraw.

Epic Games announced last spring that they had raised a billion dollars dedicated to developing its vision of the meta-verse in direct competition with Roblox, another video game company. Microsoft intends to create a “corporate metaverse”. Not to mention the many start-ups hoping to find a place there, like the English from Improbable.

5. Why do we talk about the meta-verse again?

Like many sci-fi dreams, the metaverse has already been born dead several times. Some believed in it more than common sense in the 2000s, when the game “Second Life” seduced the crowds. At its peak, this virtual universe hosted IBM conference centers, American Apparel stores, political hotline for election candidates, and a million simultaneous connections.

The game is still online, but the enthusiasm quickly waned, while the game’s graphical experience remains a bit grotesque. In addition, the system became slow when too many Internet users joined it at the same time. Today, the experience of virtual and augmented realities is a game-changer. All-online computing (“cloud computing”) would also make it possible to multiply simultaneous visits to this new world.

VIDEO. Facebook will change its name

Leave a Comment