Mark Zuckerburg has unveiled some of Facebook’s big plans going into the future. According to him, Facebook would be at the forefront of building a new version of the internet called the metaverse. It seems, for now, he plans to build Facebook VR Multiverse as a virtual reality version of the internet. He describes it as a place where people will live, work and hang out.
“In many ways, the Metaverse is the ultimate expression of social technology. It’s the future we are working towards. A virtual environment where you can be present with people in a digital space. An embodied Internet that you are inside of”.Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook
What is the Metaverse?
A metaverse is a congregation of many different elements such as physical, augmented, and virtual. The closest example would be Epic Games Fortnite with its Metaverse events, including real-world events in the digital landscape.
This kind of reality is only possible when multiple companies, individuals, and IPs come together to create something bigger than themselves. It would be quite a while before Facebook’s Metaverse is even close to being used in the practical world, but the idea alone is something to get hooked on.
This vision is fairly reminiscent of the world envisioned in the movie Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg. Coincidentally, our situation currently matches the very plot of the movie, with people forced to stay at their homes only interacting through the internet. This Facebook virtual reality Metaverse might be the thing we need in this situation. However, if it does indeed become a reality, one also has to think about the negative consequences.
If pop culture has taught us anything, it’s that technologies like these mean the end of face-to-face human interaction. With the pandemic alone, people have been living more and more separately. A U.S. study examining people’s experiences reports that happiness and life satisfaction saw one of the largest declines during the pandemic. Along with mental and physical health, together with more modest declines in meaning in life and overall flourishing. Hence, the impact of Facebook VR Metaverse is not to be taken lightly.
How is Facebook and other tech companies building the Metaverse?
Facebook is not the only company that has revealed its plans to build towards such a vision. Microsoft, Nvidia, and Epic Games have all discussed their own iterations. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has been discussing his desire to contribute to a metaverse for many months now. As noted by Zuckerberg, no company can develop the Metaverse. They can only try to build their infrastructure towards that goal.
Andrew Bosworth, VP of AR/VR at Facebook, described Metaverse as a “collection of digital worlds each with its own physics to determine what’s possible within them.”
It seems Facebook is developing its VR technologies to be ready for any future developments in this field. They have already spent billions on Oculus VR, and this does not account for the money spent on countless research on future VR products. At least with this, the future of VR and AR technology looks bright.