Facebook and metaverse

Recently one of the tech giants Facebook announced their new name Meta along with their new vision of the future. They introduced Metaverse in the announcement video. Metaverse is a virtual shared universe where the physical world meets the digital world. Achieved through the help of virtual reality and augmented reality. In the video, they told us about their ongoing projects like Project Nazare and Project Cambria. Project Nazare is a codename for AR (Augmented Reality) glasses, and Project Cambria is a codename for the new product compatible with Quest (VR headset). They are trying to subsidize the cost of VR headsets and accessories to get as many people as possible. They are spending about $5b per year on metaverse-related development. So we can hope that it will be accessible to a huge amount of people. This brings up the question, what the hell does this all mean?!

Benefits

Experiences

Experience your fantasies (take your dirty mind elsewhere!). With a single click, you can enjoy your day at the resort, slay enemies, or hang out with your friends in the personal space you created, and these are just a few examples. The possibility is endless—all with the immeasurable realism and all from the safety and comfort of your home.

For now, we have photos for our profile to define who we are. But in the Metaverse, we will have avatars of our liking. You can make the avatar look however you want, and this can be a resemblance of your own or something else. Did you ever wish you were Lil bit taller? Did you ever wished your jawline to be more symmetrical? or maybe a bigger hand? Now you can make that come true through avatars. Which will only not define us but also have realistic facial expressions to interact better with people.. Meta is already working on accessories. They named the project Cambria. Quest Oculus VR set and project Cambria are sets of products compatible with oculus. which will allow us to experience every detail like we are living in it.

This opens up lots of possibilities. with this level of realism, you will feel like you are not being tied up by the limitation of the body you were born into. In real life, you could be someone with a legs disability, but in the Metaverse, you could walk and run, forget walking, you could fly.

So imagine the possibilities for millions of disabled people who will be able to interact and socialize in a way that was not possible before.

Learn

Metaverse seems fun! Absolutely. You can not only have fun doing things I mentioned above but have fun while studying or learning with the whole new experience. like if you are in the astroid, you can live in stars or planets and learn from it. If you are someone who fails a lot in experiments, now you can try many times with real like simulation and get experience with it. or if you are just curious and want to feel what dinosaur land would look like in Metaverse you can live with dinosaurs but be careful though.

Work/productivity

When learning becomes fun there’s no exception for your work too. As Metaverse allows you to escape reality and jump into your paradise, you can choose to work on that paradise. your real apartment or office could be loud and not harmonic with all the people walking around or with all the mess you made in your room, but you can escape from there and work at the beach of your liking or choose a peaceful place in your virtual space it’s upon you.

If you are a creator or designer then you can create virtual products of your liking. for example you are a clothing designer. you can choose a variety of colors, designs, and painting prints on the same cloth. In reality, you would need different clothes to test out the same colors and prints. you will never run out of raw material in Metaverse to get the same feat in real life, you will have to gather materials first. and YES you can sell those products in the Metaverse. Meta hasn’t officially stated this but My guess is it will be possible through cryptocurrencies.

Now let’s get into the dark sides of Metaverse.

Reality

With highly realistic graphics, augmented reality, realistic facial expressions, and body language, Metaverse will feel nothing less than reality. We will get drawn into the virtual world and spend more time on it. that raises the main problem, will we be able to grasp what’s real or not? let me make you more clear on this one. let’s say you are someone who loves skateboarding. you can do impossible skate tricks without getting hurt in the Metaverse. but if you forget you are in reality and tried those stunts then results won’t turn out good always. In skateboarding, you can get away with minor injuries, imagine what would happen if someone is a mountain climber or skydiver?

Something like this has already portraited in a 2010 movie called inception. In that movie, protagonists can enter into dreams. the concept goes so far that at some point, they forget if they are in real life or dream world. Maybe this won’t happen on Metaverse but this possibility exists.

Privacy

Former Facebook now meta has said they are working on privacy for Metaverse from day one But can we really trust the company that has had many scandals in past regarding data and privacy. It was not a big deal for most users when that happened on Facebook, cause they had only your data which you registered onto their platform. But this time it won’t be that easy. Meta will obtain data on the level of your brain activity. Meta will need this information to make the Metaverse feel more real and lifelike. if all those data will be leaked then I cannot guess what would happen. and if you choose to get into Metaverse then you would have to trust them. are you okay with it?

Way and views

Meta isn’t the only company that is onto this. Matter of fact most of the companies are already able to get this feat on this date. take Fortnite for example. Fortnite is able to hold concerts by the likes of Travis Scott, Ariana Grande, and Marshmallow. where every player can join concerts and have fun with their friends. Fortnite’s CEO Tim Sweeney said, “it’s no secret that Epic is invested in building the metaverse”. which means they are developing photorealistic digital avatars in the near future for you to experience the digital world vividly.

According to USAToday, some lesser-known company has launched their own virtual world. The online fantasy world Second life was founded in 2003. another company has launched online heaven called Nowhere, where people can hold public or private concerts, festivals, and meetings, etc in virtual space.

Companies like Google and Microsoft were already working on technologies that can help build the Metaverse. Google where its VR support is ended but currently working on augmented reality. Its AR output is software and phone-based and they thrive to put it on smartglasses too. On the other hand, Microsoft is already using holograms and developing explorable virtual spaces. According to USAToday Microsoft is going to develop extended reality (XR) applications using Microsoft Mesh Platform.

My view.

By knowing all this concept of Metaverse already exists here and now. Yes! The concept seems thrilling and awesome experience but I don’t personally trust Meta (former Facebook) for my data and privacy. The Virtual Reality experience which competes with the real world sounds astounding but can lead to massive problems. I fear Metaverse will be too addicting. But I like the idea of AR. AR uses the real world and holograms to achieve an immersive experience. We can feel the real world and part of the virtual world at the same time with AR but with VR the case is different. I would choose AR glasses rather than wearing a VR headset all the time.

Google recently announced their new flagship phone Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro with Tensor chip in it. The hardware chief of Google previously said that “Tensor chip is the perfect foundation for making big improvements in AR”. That was one of the bold indicators that they are working on AR undoubtedly and yes I like the sound of that.

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