Metaverse Weekly: Meta opens a physical store

Many blockchain metaverse boosters like to portray the newly renamed Meta as a threat to the dream of an immersive, decentralized virtual world free from the clutches of Big Tech. But we can say this to CEO Mark Zuckerberg: he has the good sense to realize that there is too little attention paid to the “virtual” part of virtual reality.

There has been some focus on the hardware that will allow people to immerse themselves in a (mostly theoretical) 3D world: a headset with a closed screen, with headphones and handheld at least. Right now, it can be quite simple, quite expensive and often both. Haptic gloves and full-body suits like those seen in the metaverse film “Ready Player One” exist, but primarily in laboratories, commercial and educational environments – that’s how dental students practice drilling, and surgeons cut – and above all, well, well outside of a realistic price level for games.

It was therefore noteworthy that Meta on Monday (May 9) opened a physical store in San Francisco dedicated to the sale – or rather testing – of headsets, ranging from its own Meta Quest 2 VR headsets to Ray-Ban Stories augmented glasses. .

While you still have to go online to buy something, the price tags – $ 299 to $ 399 for Meta’s Quest 2 – make it a tough sale without a test drive.

“At Meta Store, we want you to interact with everything. We want you to pick things up. We want you to feel it,” the company said in a statement.

“Once people experience the technology, they can appreciate it better,” said Martin Gilliard, head of Meta Store. “If we’ve done our job well, people should walk away and say to their friends, ‘You need to check out the Meta Store.'”

And, Meta hopes, you’ll also go online to try out its infant Horizon Worlds, a kind of Metaverse Lite VR game.

See also: Meta opens its Metaverse platform for payments and it’s not cheap

This was several days after Zuckerberg met with the director of eyewear manufacturer EssilorLuxottica to discuss smart glasses like his Ray-Bans.

They also showcase a prototype of Meta’s “Neural Interface EMG Wristband” that “eventually” will allow users to control their VR glasses and other devices in a way that allows them to interact more realistically than handheld controllers.

Read more: Zuckerberg tips on upcoming portable AR controller

NFTs are the new ICO

While metaverse scams are quite rare now, you can be sure that they happen, especially in blockchain-based “Web3” metavers, which due to their semi-decentralized nature will be more easily monitored.

That said, five state securities regulators have accused a group called the Flamingo Casino Club of selling allegedly fraudulent NFTs “allegedly linked to a metaverse casino,” according to a statement from the New Jersey Bureau of Securities (NJBOS). The operators said they were developing a “metaverse casino through a partnership with Flamingo Las Vegas, an established casino operating in Nevada,” the regulators claimed, adding that the claim “is simply untrue.”

Warning that “scammers are already trying to exploit the hype associated with metavers and NFTs,” the agencies said they have seen “an increasing number of suspicious requests for unregistered metaverse-related titles … [that play] on their feelings by falsely promising lucrative profitability, guaranteed income, financial security and the unique opportunity to become metaverse millionaires.

Metaverse search

Startup Lightning Labs has just raised start-up money to create a cross-metaverse search engine that is likely to prove crucial, at least in concept, to make trading – and everything else – possible in the meta-verse. though “the metaverse” is a bit of a misnomer because there are dozens of them – and there will probably be hundreds of them – at least over the next few years.

“Right now, discovery in the meta-verse is more like a game where you have to jump between games to find things, than the Internet, where you can access everything from a single entry point,” Lighthouse CEO Jonathan Brun said in a statement.

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