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Explainer: What is the Metaverse and how it works | Chicago News

File-In this October 12, 2021 file photo, software engineer Hadrien Gurnel, EPFL’s Experimental Museum Studies Institute (eM +), uses a virtual reality helmet to use virtual reality software VIRUP, virtual reality. Use the Space Project to explore the most detailed 3D maps of the universe. Developed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in St. Sulpice near Lausanne, Switzerland. (Laurent Gillieron / Keystone via AP)

The term “metaverse” seems to be everywhere. Facebook has hired thousands of engineers in Europe to work on it, but video game companies are outlining the long-term vision of those who think about the next big thing online.

The Metaverse, which could re-emerge when Facebook announces earnings on Monday, is the latest buzzword to capture the imagination of the tech industry.

It may be the future, or the latest epic vision by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, which may not go as expected or have not been widely adopted for years.

In addition, many are accused of failing to thwart harmful content because they are concerned about the new online world associated with social media giants who have access to even more personal data.

The online world is as follows:

What is the Metaverse?

Think of the Internet as lively, or at least rendered in 3D. Zuckerberg describes it as a “virtual environment” where you can go inside as well as look at the screen. In essence, it’s an endless world of interconnected virtual communities where people can meet, work, and play using virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, smartphone apps, or other devices. is.

Other aspects of online life, such as shopping and social media, will also be incorporated, according to Victoria Petrock, an analyst who follows emerging technologies.

“This is the next evolution of connectivity, and all of this begins to gather in the seamless doppelganger world, so we live a virtual life as much as a physical life,” she says.

However, “it’s hard to define a label for something that hasn’t been created,” said Tuong Nguyen, an analyst who tracks immersive technology at research firm Gartner.

Facebook warned that it would take 10 to 15 years to develop a responsible product for Metaverse. This is a term coined by Neil Stevenson, the writer of the 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash.”

What can you do with the Metaverse?

It’s like going to a virtual concert, traveling online, buying and trying on digital clothing.

The Metaverse could also be a game changer for telecommuting shifts in a coronavirus pandemic. Instead of seeing colleagues on the video call grid, employees could see them virtually.

Facebook has released corporate conferencing software called Horizontal Workspaces for use with Oculus VR headsets, but early reviews weren’t very good. Headsets cost more than $ 300, and many don’t get the cutting-edge experience of the Metaverse.

For those who can afford it, users will be able to fly between virtual worlds created by different companies through Avatar.

“Most of the Metaverse experiences are the ability to teleport from one experience to another,” says Zuckerberg.

Technology companies need to understand how to interconnect online platforms. Petrock says there is no “people in the Facebook Metaverse or others in the Microsoft Metaverse” because competing technology platforms need to agree on a set of standards for it to work.

Is FACEBOOK fully participating in the Metaverse?

Indeed, Zuckerberg believes it will be a big part of the digital economy, so it is growing significantly in what it considers to be the next generation of the Internet. He hopes people will start seeing Facebook as a metaverse company rather than a social media company.

According to a report from technical news site The Verge, Zuckerberg will use Facebook’s annual virtual reality conference this week to announce a company name change, putting legacy apps such as Facebook and Instagram under a metaverse-focused parent company. It is said that he is considering that. Facebook has not commented on this report.

Critics may be trying to distract the company from the crisis, with potential key points such as antitrust crackdowns, whistle-blowing testimony of former employees, and concerns about mishandling information. I think it might be.

Former employee Frances Haugen, who accused Facebook’s platform of harming children and inciting political violence, will testify Monday in front of the British Parliamentary Commission seeking to pass an online security bill. ..

Is Metaverse just a Facebook project?

No. Zuckerberg admits that “one company” does not build a metaverse on its own.

Just because Facebook is doing a lot about the Metaverse doesn’t mean that it or any other tech giant will dominate the space, Nguyen said.

“There are many startups that have potential competitors,” he said. “There are new technologies, trends and applications that we haven’t discovered yet.”

Video game companies also play a leading role. The company behind the popular Fortnite video game, Epic Games, has raised $ 1 billion from investors to support its long-term plans to build the Metaverse. The gaming platform Roblox is another big player outlining Metaverse’s vision of “people can get together, learn, work, play, create and interact in millions of 3D experiences.”

Consumer brands are also participating in it. Italian fashion house Gucci collaborated with Roblox in June to sell a collection of digital-only accessories. Coca-Cola and Clinique have sold digital tokens that have been marketed as a stepping stone to the Metaverse.

Zuckerberg’s Metaverse hug is, in some respects, inconsistent with the core beliefs of its greatest enthusiasts. They envision the Metaverse as the liberation of online culture from technology platforms such as Facebook, which take over ownership of people’s accounts, photos, posts, and playlists and trade off what they collect from that data.

Venture capitalist Steve Jang, managing partner of Kindred Ventures, said: Those who are focused on cryptocurrency technology.

Is this another way to get more of my data?

It’s clear that Facebook wants to bring to the Metaverse a business model based on selling targeted ads using personal data.

“Advertising will continue to be an important part of the overall strategy of the social media part of what we do, and it will probably be a meaningful part of the Metaverse,” Zuckerberg said in a statement about the company’s latest earnings. I said in.

Nguyen raises new privacy concerns about “all the problems we have today and those that haven’t been discovered yet because we don’t yet understand what the Metaverse does.” Stated.

Petrock said that if Facebook didn’t fix these issues on its current platform, it would require more personal data, a path to a virtual world that could be more likely to be misused or misinformation. He said he was concerned about what he was trying to guide.

“I don’t think they’ve thought through all the pitfalls,” she said. “I’m worried that they aren’t necessarily thinking about all the privacy implications of the Metaverse.”


Explainer: What is the Metaverse and how it works | Chicago News

Source link Explainer: What is the Metaverse and how it works | Chicago News

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