Facebook is investing heavily in its ambitious metaverse plan, which, aside from being the latest tech buzzword, is described by the company as a “set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you”. An idea that’s heavily reliant on AR and VR.
“We develop technology rooted in human connection that brings people together,” Facebook says.
“As we focus on helping to build the next computing platform, our work across augmented and virtual reality and consumer hardware will deepen that human connection regardless of physical distance and without being tied to devices.”
The Mark Zuckerberg company is dropping $US50 million (around $68 million) to build the space. Well, the cash will be invested in global research and programs as a way to ensure these products are developed responsibly.
The XR Programs and Research Fund will be the avenue for Facebook to work with industry partners, civil rights groups, governments, nonprofits and academic institutions to determine how to build these technologies responsibly.
The dream is for the metaverse to enable people to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop and create.
“It’s not necessarily about spending more time online – it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful,” it clarifies.
Alas, Facebook concedes the metaverse isn’t a single product one company can build alone. It says just like the internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not.
“And it won’t be built overnight,” it adds. “Many of these products will only be fully realised in the next 10-15 years.”
I guess it gives them time to think about what they’re building, rather than dealing with the consequences of poor design and health detriments later.
To that point, Facebook says it’s going to be focused on economic opportunity, privacy, safety and integrity and equity and inclusion as it builds out the metaverse, responsibly.