Metaverse: Five Questions About The New Virtual World Of Facebook


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Strategic shift at Facebook. Born as a social network, Mark Zuckerberg’s company no longer just wants to be a bunch of mobile apps. It now intends to become a metaverse company, even going so far as to rename itself “Meta” to mark its detailed ambitions Thursday evening. At an online conference, the billionaire boss unveiled his vision for a technology that could transform the Internet as we know it today. Explanations.

1. What Is The Metaverse?​

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

2. How Do You Access The Metaverse?​

As envisioned by Mark Zuckerberg, the metaverse opens up to those 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 immerse the user’s gaze in a 3D setting. To move, you must also equip yourself with hand controllers. To get around, some imagine a treadmill system. Besides Meta, HTC, Sony already have their headsets. According to information from Bloomberg, Apple’s will be released in 2022.

By simply superimposing a digital image on top of the actual view, augmented reality is considered by experts to be easier to adopt by the general public. As a form of ubiquity gift, it will be possible to follow an event in the metaverse out of the corner of your 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 the Hololens. Apple is also expected in these technologies.

3. Who Will Build The Metaverse?​

Mark Zuckerberg is keen to look good. The metaverse “is not confined to a single company, and each of us is necessary to make it happen,” he was careful to stress when presenting Meta. But it is especially aimed at small developers who will enrich the world of Meta with immersive experiences (commerce, culture, tourism, entertainment, etc.), in the same way that start-ups have multiplied the services available on smartphones. in the late 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. Although it hits a big blow, Meta will have to get along or force a number of competitors to abandon.

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

5. Why Are We Talking About The Metaverse Again?​

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

The game is still online but the craze quickly subsided, while the graphic experience of the game remains a bit grotesque. In addition, the system became sluggish when too many Internet users connected to 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 increase the number of simultaneous visits to this new world.

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