Facebook’s metaverse

by Dror Denishman

Zuckerberg eyes immersive metaverse as Facebook’s future

DC Comics has given us the Snyder-verse. Marvel’s “Loki”, “Doctor Strange” and “Spider-man” are all about to unleash the Multiverse, and apparently Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg wants in on the action.The billionaire genius of the most powerful and well-used social network on Earth is beginning to heavily promote his idea of “the Metaverse”, a sum of all virtual reality environments not to mention every single thing on the Internet. Considering Zuckerberg’s wealth and power in the digital era, that can alternately sound really cool or really ominous.In a recent interview with The Verge, Zuckerberg described his vision:

“I think a good vision for the metaverse is not one that a specific company builds, but it has to have the sense of interoperability and portability. You have your avatar and your digital goods, and you want to be able to teleport anywhere,” Zuckerberg says. “You don’t want to just be stuck within one company’s stuff. So for our part, for example, we’re building out the Quest headsets for VR, we’re working on AR headsets. But the software that we build, for people to work in or hang out in and build these different worlds, that’s going to go across anything. So other companies build out VR or AR platforms, our software will be everywhere. Just like Facebook or Instagram is today.”If you are thinking that sounds a whole lot like the plot of Earnest Cline’s novel and movie Ready Player One, you’re not alone.

I don’t know, what’s a Metaverse with you?

The term ‘metaverse’ was originally coined by science fiction author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash” which defined it as a collective virtual shared space that appeared as a hundred-meter wide road called the Street. Inside it, users appeared as avatars of any form and could take transports that jumped 256 kilometers at a time. Zuckerberg wants to connect not just virtual and augmented reality, but also mobile devices, gaming consoles, and personal computers. The billionaire says that since his company didn’t get much of a role in developing smartphones, since they were coming of age at the same time as Facebook, he wants to take a leading role in the next phase of developing the future of connectivity. 

 “I think if we can help build the next set of computing platforms and experiences across that in a way that’s more natural and lets us feel more present with people,” he said. “ I think that’ll be a very positive thing.”It will be a race for Facebook to get there first. Recently Epic Games announced a $1 billion investment to create its own metaverse. The company wants to use its Unreal game engine, the power behind social gaming experiences like Fortnite, Fall Guys, and Rocket League, to create real-time 3D social experiences that meet at the intersection of music, film, and gaming. Epic isn’t the first big spender in the metaverse market, either. In 2020, Sony initially invested some $250 million in Epic.