Metaverse: what is Zuckerberg’s new project?

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook (now called “Meta”), wants to dedicate himself to the development of the meta-verse, “an even more immersive platform”.

New turning point in the world of technology. On October 28, Mark Zuckerberg announced the name change on Facebook, now called “Meta”. If the social networking app stays “Facebook”, it’s the whole company (which also includes Instagram and WhatsApp) that gets a facelift who wants to restore its image and turn off the many controversies.

“We chose the name ‘Meta’, which can also mean ‘beyond’. The next chapter to be written is a future built by each of us that will take us even further in the digital connections that are possible today – beyond the limitations of screens, geographical boundaries and even physical presence, “the company wrote in a blog post. In short: the development of a virtual world where anything is possible. This concept, which is dear to Mark Zuckerberg, is called the meta-verse.

Teleport into virtual reality

The latter explains on his Facebook page: “In recent decades, technology has given people the power to connect and express themselves more naturally. When I started Facebook, we wrote texts on websites. When we got phones with cameras, the Internet became more visual and mobile. (…) We went from desktops to the internet and then to mobile; from texts to pictures and then to videos. (…) The next platform will be more immersive – a living, embodied internet where you live the experience, not just seeing it. We call it the meta-verse, and it’s about every single product we make. “

More specifically, the metaverse, using an avatar, allows to be present in any kind of environment, in the presence of different people, via virtual reality and augmented reality. “To feel truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social media technologies. (…) In the meta-verse, you will be able to do almost anything you imagine: being surrounded by friends and family “Work, learn, play, buy, create,” writes Mark Zuckerberg, adding: “In the future, you will be able to teleport instantly, in the form of a hologram, to your desk 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 economics, with the implementation of new systems based on cryptocurrencies or even NFTs (“nun fungible tokens” in English, meaning “non-exchangeable tokens”). Users will be able to purchase goods and services. “We’re developing a Horizon Marketplace where creators can display their digital creations in 3D and sell them,” says Zuckerberg.

A reminder from SecondLife

In this presentation video, for example, the founder of Facebook demonstrates that it is possible to play cards with friends while hovering in space, in a 3D environment. Metaverset also allows you to transport yourself to the ideal house, with views of different landscapes, to everyone’s taste. Thus, “the metaverse consists of multiple virtual spaces where you can create and explore, in the presence of other people who are not in the same physical space as you,” Facebook defines.

In this presentation, Mark Zuckerberg also has the choice of several outfits to dress his avatar on. This is reminiscent of another famous metavers: SecondLife, the virtual reality software released in 2003, where users could interact with each other in a world created by the same community.

“SecondLife was not the first virtual world, but it was the one we talked about the most, especially in the years 2006/2007,” its founder Philip Rosedale explained to Internet Journal, in 2013. “The main reason for this popularity is, in my opinion, closely linked to the very idea of ​​the existence of a virtual world. This is a fundamental issue related to the evolution 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 being that being able to communicate with others in a virtual world is not yet as developed and sophisticated as in the real world. It is actually harder to express one’s feelings. “in real time in a virtual space. The second reason is that if you want to interact, and especially build something in a 3D universe, such as a simple house, the mouse is not enough”.

An achievable goal?

Zuckerberg admits it himself: the construction of this project will take “years” and requires significant mobilization. “We need to mount hologram screens, projectors, batteries, radios, chips, cameras, speakers, sensors to map the world around you, and more, in five millimeter glass. Thick,” he says.

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

Currently, realism in virtual worlds is more attractive in video games, such as Fortnite, where rapper Travis Scott and singer Ariana Grande have given virtual concerts that gather tens of thousands of spectators.

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