Facebook's Metaverse Is Here To Stay

Facebook’s Metaverse Is Here To Stay

Facebook has officially launched its Augmented Reality (AR) technology, and it’s taking the world by storm. The social media giant has transformed your hands into controllers that allow you to land on a planet’s surface, shoot lasers out of your fingertips, and grab objects floating in space. Facebook said this is just the beginning of what will be a future where AR is completely ubiquitous.

So far, Facebook’s new venture is being received with near universal acclaim — people are excited for the possibilities it brings for immersive socializing and even potential Job Opportunities. The development of mobile Apps will be an area that will have greater importance at this point. With an audience as diverse as Facebook’s at their disposal, there may be no limit to how many people can enjoy this futuristic technology together.

The metaverse was a concept conceived by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 book “Snow Crash” in which Stephenson envisioned a three-dimensional virtual world that exists as an alternative to physical reality, in which people can interact through avatars, and communicate via a speech-to-text engine that translates voice communications into text instantaneously. But, Stephenson may have never predicted that Facebook would one day not only create an alternate virtual reality, but also better use the metaverse to enhance and extend the internet.

Much of the conversation around new technologies in the future has been about new ways of interacting with a computer, such as voice control and touch screens, but we see a more important trend emerging where people are creating small-scale communities within a virtual world. This is a significant opportunity to expand this into new opportunities for social interaction.

Facebook was already working on the metaverse, using AR technology to create an immersive viewer for 360-degree video. It has now refined the technology to a point where it can be used for anything. Facebook’s virtual reality tool lets users walk around, grab and hold anything in a virtual 3D space, and navigate through space without bumping into real walls. The company just launched a new interface, making it simpler for people to use the platform on a range of devices – including its own mobile VR headset, Oculus Quest 2.

The metaverse could also be used to replace the current model of social networking altogether, which draws its importance from App Designers. Facebook’s technology could make it possible for someone to actually be in the same physical space as their friends online, instead of interacting with them through a static feed. This kind of virtual reality technology is also likely to have a positive impact on education. With this technology, students will be able to learn things like anatomy and biology in a more immersive environment than an ordinary textbook, not to mention the various other fields that these types of programs could be used for such as military training, aviation, or even archaeology.

Facebook isn’t alone in the realm of augmented reality, which is an area that Elegant Media has a vested interest in. Apple is also working on an augmented reality headset called T288 that’s expected to hit the shelves. Google may be gearing up to launch an augmented reality glasses-based device, as it is reportedly working on creating its own version of Project Tango. And Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality goggles are already in use in industries such as deep sea exploration, architecture, and gaming.

For the most part, these technologies are being used in collaboration with conventional technology such as smartphones and tablets. However, it’s possible that virtual reality headsets will eventually replace computers entirely. Then again, not all augmented reality features have to involve phones and computing devices – you can walk through a virtual city while reading a book or checking out the latest real estate listings.

John Norwood
John Norwood is best known as a technology journalist, currently at Ziddu where he focuses on tech startups, companies, and products.