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Facebook founder and professional meat smoker Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled the first stage of his much talked-about "metaverse", and it sure looks like a VR chatroom. Not even a very good one, at that.
"Metaverse? That sounds dumb. What is it?", you might ask. It's a good question! If you've ever seen or read Ready Player One, you'll have some idea of what Zuckerberg is going for. If you haven't, basically just try to imagine a massive virtual reality cyberspace where people can truly like feel like they're together - even when they're not. Like Zoom, but with extra steps.
Zuckerberg told The Verge last month that he's been busy developing this metaverse, and described his plans to the outlet. To Zuckerberg, the metaverse is a place "where instead of just viewing content - you are in it. And you feel present with other people as if you were in other places, having different experiences that you couldn't necessarily do on a 2D app or webpage, like dancing, for example, or different types of fitness."
Last night, Zuckerberg unveiled what he believes to be the first step "toward building the metaverse" on CBS. Are you ready for this? It's a VR app for the Oculus Quest 2 called the Horizon Workrooms app. Doesn't sound that exciting does it? It's not. The main point of the app is to provide you with a cartoon avatar before throwing you into a digital recreation of an office space with up to 50 participants.
I'm not entirely sure how many people are going to jump at the chance to try this out. The app is free, but an Oculus Quest 2 headset currently costs a minimum of £299. I don't think there's an office in the land that would equip their workforce with one each when they can literally just Microsoft Teams, or Skype, or Zoom, or Workplace.
Maybe I'm just underwhelmed because when I picture a virtual reality metaverse, I picture alien worlds. I picture deep red sunsets and terrifying supernovas. I imagine being able to see and experience things I never considered possible. Sitting around a virtual boardroom is quite possibly the worst place Zuckerberg could have started. At least the only way from here is up.
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/CBS
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