Facebook presented its vision of the metaverse at its Facebook Connect event on Thursday, October 28. The occasion for Mark Zuckerberg’s company to present its new face, centered on new universes, and to announce several new features in this sense. It was also the occasion to announce the change of name of the company, Facebook becoming… Meta. A name that illustrates how much the company makes the metaverse its priority.
Facebook Connect 2021 started by showing what vision Facebook has of this future. “The metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet,” said Mark Zuckerberg, adding that he believes “the future will be built by all of us. Facebook wants to create a virtual world where almost anything is possible. A world created with developers and creators, where everyone can participate in its design and animation. Facebook wants to build and develop the metaverse collaboratively.
Big bet on crypto and metaverse
Facebook sees the metaverse as a way to connect people in a virtual but immersive way, no matter where they are. Its CEO sees Facebook’s commitment to the metaverse as a logical and natural progression, “We are a company that focuses on connecting people. We focus on building technology for people to interact with each other,” he says. That includes an immersive metaverse, which gives the feeling of being physically present with others, according to the company.
The U.S. social networking giant talks about going “beyond the constraints of screens and distance.” Facebook is really presenting this “next chapter” as the future of the current internet. Facebook also sees in the metaverse the possibility of new opportunities. Social opportunities, but also economic ones.
Mark Zuckerberg took the opportunity to criticize, in filigree, the current policies surrounding the technological giants and their innovations. “The experiences we are allowed to build and use are more tightly controlled than ever. And the high taxes on new creative ideas are stifling,” he says. His universes are then presented as the solution to this, “the metaverse gives us the opportunity to change that, if we build it right.”
The company also sees the metaverse as a collective object. Its wish is to make it a global standard, owned by no one. This whole vision of Facebook, or rather Meta, was illustrated at the event by three types of uses: connecting people, gaming, and work. For the company, the metaverse will allow these three types of daily uses, which will make it an extension of real life.
Connecting with people in the metaverse
To illustrate this new future way of connecting to each other, Mark Zuckerberg highlights augmented reality glasses, as well as bracelets that allow to control an interface with the fingers.
These devices would allow to see, to create, virtual spaces. The example put forward during the event is the virtual reproduction of a physical house. Putting on the glasses would be a way to go to the virtual house. The bracelets would then allow to interact with the environment. The objective is to give the sensation of presence.
According to Meta, this also involves avatars, virtual extensions of real people. They can be realistic or not, but will transmit facial expressions, body language, and all the physical aspects used to communicate in real life. “Avatars will be the profile pictures of today,” says the CEO.
The metaverse, through these devices, will allow, for example, to virtually join friends present at a physical concert, while having the feeling of actually being there. Inviting people to your home or going to someone else’s home, without physically going there, will then become possible. This is the new level of connecting to others.
To connect to brands and artists as well. The possibilities for commerce and exchange will also be pushed back, making physical and virtual goods (thanks to NFTs) accessible to anyone. “I think this could be very positive for our society and the economy,” says Mark Zuckerberg.
To make this possible, Meta is betting on Horizon Home, a space in which it will be possible to create a home, or any other place to live, and to connect to others. It has therefore an essentially social vocation, of connection, of discussion with others, unlike Horizon Workrooms. Above all, it is the future of Horizon World, launched in beta version last year.