A highlight from The Metaverse turning life into one big online experience

Future Tense


Metaverse as really just shot right up. In terms of google trends people are asking about a low to the place metaverse really creates this illusion of. It's like the universe but more than that. It's overlaid on top of that. We have whatever we can design to enhance. The experience of being human. Facebook's record has shown that habit is to acquire other companies and shut them down or crush them or absorb them in whatever way they possibly can so and sucker berg talks about the metaverse trying to be interoperable or like everything kind of fits together. It's really hard to believe. It seems like facebook would want to control this entire space no matter what. So what exactly is the mid of us. Well at the moment. I can't give you a definitive answer to that question. But by the end of this program no went have an answer than either what i can tell you. Definitively is that depending on your perspective. It's either a super cool vision of tomorrow or a load of infantile nonsense dreamt up by tech billionaires. Hello antony fennell. Welcome to feature tends. The term meditators originates from an neil stevenson book. Back in the ninety s called snow crash and neil stevenson's a science fiction writer and he painted this picture of a virtual world that people could jack into much like william gibson's signed a space. That many people are familiar with as well. And that's where we get. The term from defining is a little bit more tricky because it still remains a vision of something that is in the future rather than something. That's already here. But how i like to define. The metaverse is through the idea of extended reality in kelly senior lecturer in interaction design at the queensland university of technology so moist people familiar with these ideas of augmented reality that designing things we can overlay on top of the physical world. Something like kokomo and go is a great example of augmented reality and people are also familiar with the virtual reality. These ideas that designing whole world's that perhaps you experience through virtual reality glasses in full three d or maybe it's even just a virtual world that you take part in as game and so that's extended reality is of the laying onto the physical world or leaving ethic will to take pot in a virtual reality and the metaverse comes about when you think about what might happen. If all of these different hot extended reality where to come together into one extended reality so right now there are hundreds of millions of people who play games in virtual world where they interact with each other and people that are using cryptocurrencies to do all kinds of transactions in virtual worlds and people interacting with friends and community groups through social media platforms like facebook. And what would happen is in the future. All of these things were to come together so that you say one person in a very large and all encompassing the actual slash old minted reality with delayed and persistent on top of physical reality. So it's a bit of a catchall phrase then it brings all of those digital and social activities that we do into the one environment. I feel like it's an emergence turn similar to the way that the internet of things became a really useful. Turn to the fact that all of these devices were emerging. Were able to do useful things because they were connected to the internet in a single away. The metaverse is a useful catch all term for what we might get from these different technologies that are related to each other and lock the internet of things or the cloud is their allure or power in being extremely vague about details but sounding extremely important. You know the next big thing absolutely. And i think that's why the two meta the has really just shot right up in terms of google trends people asking about it alot to the place and academics have been talking about this trend for many years usually using the term extended reality. But it's not a very good term because it defines by what it isn't it saying it's like reality that's an extension to it. It's not very evocative. It doesn't give you an idea of where goes whereas metaverse really creates this illusion of. It's like the universe but more than that it's overlaid on top of it. We have whatever weakened design to enhance the experience of being human. That's the narrative that's being woven around the myth of this and facebook ceo and founder mark zuckerberg finds that narrative so seductive. He recently declared that. Facebook had begun the process of transforming itself into a metaverse company out overarching goal. Across all of these initiatives he reportedly told staff is to help. Bring the metaverse to life. Nick kelly again. When mark zuckerberg the tokes about this one way that i understand it is the civil facebook already. Has the three billion uses the platform and that's a huge amount of the human population and they're constantly having to look ahead as to what the next version of the social network might look like as we all learned through the rise of facebook through network effects. Whoever gets first when you constructing net book has a huge advantage that really can't be overcome and that's why facebook is remains so dominant despite other people trying to start up social networks and so they're trying to think well as we get new technologies so we get five g. improving the mobile broadband networks and what people can do with it as we get devices. Perhaps make it possible to feel much more present when connecting with somebody online. What might that future look like. And what might the future of social networks and for facebook. They're engaging well. How can we control that and to give you some idea. Zun is a technology that everyone's now familiar with especially since the pandemic has hit and that has around about three hundred million uses each day and part of what facebook is pursuing is. What is the future of work. How will people interacting work meetings. And they've got the experimental platform. Facebook horizon up online to try and have a say in experimenting. What that will be our technology vision putting people at the center of the computing experience. And they're a big part of how we do. This is by building technology that advances the feeling of presence right some more immersive getting the hardware out of the way better natural more. Ui better more realistic avatars. We'll talk about later. So that's one part. The other part is basically building the software experiences that put people at the center of the experience. That's kind of our bread and butter as a company. We build a lot of so. They're all of these different motivations for the big companies like facebook. To try and shaping what this looks like fundamentally to control it and to promote that particular model which is based largely on advertising and daughter extraction from us so it's certainly a the facebook version of the metaverse is one that i'm extremely wary of if out there. We need your help. Storm came. there are lots of different companies. And they're all kind of jockeying to control even just the idea of the metaverse. My name is kyle checa and i am a contributing writer at the new yorker now. It's

Coming up next