How Meta is Changing the VR Landscape

How Meta is Changing the VR Landscape

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In 2021, Facebook did the unimaginable and changed its name to Meta Platforms, or Meta for short. It’s actually the second time Mark Zuckerberg decided to change his company name, as Facebook was initially called Thefacebook. However, this time the name change signals something way bigger.

At the time of writing, Meta is one of the biggest companies in the world, with a market cap of $500 billion. The recent name change makes us think about how Meta is changing the immersive technology industry and what Zuckerberg has planned for the future.

Metaverse – The New Internet

Meta has started to invest a lot of money in its Reality Labs division, which develops everything related to extended reality, including VR headsets, AR apps, and much more. In 2021 alone, it lost $10 billion, showing that Zuckerberg is willing to play the long game and isn’t looking to cash out on some trend that will go away in a year or two.

He’s aiming to single-handedly change the current VR landscape and improve a metaverse, which is being dubbed “the new internet”. At its core, a metaverse is a virtual reality network that simulates the real world. There are many different metaverse platforms, each offering different features and capabilities. However, there are several core concepts that all metaverses share.

The central concept is that metaverse is user-created. Unlike traditional video games with pre-built worlds and prepared storylines, metaverse offers complete freedom. It allows every player to make it anything they want.

For example, inside a metaverse, you can attend job meetings, make new friends and spend time on your hobbies. All of that while wearing a VR headset. It sounds nice and all, but right now, the metaverse is in its infancy, comparable to the internet in the 90s.

Even Meta’s own metaverse platform Horizon Worlds is incredibly limited. Avatars barely resemble humans, lack expressions, and currently, there just isn’t much to do there. However, Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t willingly lose $10 billion in a single year to leave metaverse as it is.

The Future of Metaverse

During a presentation in February 2022, Zuckerberg mentioned a couple of features that Meta is currently prioritizing. The first is called BuilderBot, and it aims at increasing user interactivity in a metaverse. It would allow you to build worlds with intricate landscapes and complex buildings just by using voice commands. Just imagine saying out loud what you want to generate, and BuilderBot’s AI would do it for you.

The second feature Zuckerberg mentioned was a real-time speech translator. That’s right, Meta is currently developing a system that could translate speech from one language to another without any additional input from the users. It means that people in the metaverse could communicate without any issues even if they don’t speak the same language in the future.

Everyone knows that it’s just the tip of the iceberg of what Meta is planning for metaverse and virtual reality as a whole. It’s not difficult to imagine that most consumers will afford haptic feedback suits in just a few years that can recreate a full sensory experience and make metaverse feel as real as the real world.

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