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Facebook Wants To Develop Metaverse, What Is It?


The term metaverse has been getting more and more popular lately. Even tech giants like Facebook, make the metaverse one of the company's priorities for the future. Not only that, as a first step, Facebook has also announced its plans to create 10,000 new jobs in the European Union over the next five years to build a metaverse.

So, what is a metaverse?

What is metaverse?

The term "metaverse" actually first appeared in the science fiction novel Snow Crash by writer Neal Stephenson in 1992.

The dystopian genre novel depicts humans, represented by avatars, able to interact with each other in three-dimensional (3D) space. Nearly three decades ago, the term metaverse was just a concept.

However, with the rapid development of technology as it is today, technology companies have begun to want to build a metaverse.

Metaverse: new virtual world

Actually there is no definite definition of the term metaverse. However, nowadays, the term is often used to describe a new virtual world where people can play games, work and communicate with others in a virtual environment. Even the head of game development company Epic Games, Tim Sweeney said the metaverse could be used by companies to advertise their products first, and allow users to try out these products online. Before someone actually buys and uses the product in the real world. A simple example, in the metaverse, when shopping online, users may be able to try out the clothes they want first digitally. Only then ordered it and shipped in the real world. All of this is possible because of the availability of Virtual Reality (VR) devices. Although so far, VR is still mostly used for gaming or video purposes.

Metaverse will rely heavily on VR because this technology is able to create 3D simulation worlds. This simulation can be similar to the real world or the world of imagination though. VR can bring sights, sounds, and other sensations through devices such as glasses and headsets.

Allows users to interact with the 3D world by simulating as many senses as possible, such as sight, hearing, touch, and even smell.

It will take 10-15 years

In the metaverse, people will be represented by unique 3D avatars, and can interact with each other. Not only used for playing games, the core of the metaverse vision is actually more about human social interaction. For this reason, the metaverse is touted as the future of the mobile internet. So far, humans rely on the internet on their cellphones to interact, but only by viewing content or not actually being in it.

According to Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, humans shouldn't live and interact via smartphones that are described as "little shining rectangles". Well, this metaverse is described by Zuckerberg as "the embodiment of the internet, but instead of just seeing content, you're in it".

Facebook metaverse experiment

So far, Facebook has experimented with creating its own metaverse, especially for work and communication purposes. For example, with an application in the form of a VR-based office space called Horizon Workrooms.

Horizon Workrooms provides virtual meeting rooms that can be used as a face-to-face online facility. This app is operated via Facebook's Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. In Horizon Workrooms, participants in virtual meeting rooms will be illustrated in the form of 3D avatars whose appearance can be changed as desired. During the meeting session, users are also possible to make video calls which will later appear on the virtual presentation screen. This room also provides whiteboard facilities that can be used to write meeting materials by relying on the controller from the Oculus Quest 2.

Companies interested in the metaverse

Not only Facebook, several game development companies have also started experimenting with their respective versions of the metaverse. For example, Epic Games, the developer of the battle royale game, Fortnite. In recent times, Fortnite has often held virtual concerts by cooperating with several top musicians, such as Marshmello, J Balvin, Travis Scott, to Ariana Grande.

With this virtual concert, Fortnite players can watch live and enjoy virtual concerts in the game. In addition, Roblox is also one of the games that are called approaching the idea of ​​the metaverse. Because, free online games that allow users to design their own games, can connect the larger ecosystem. Meanwhile, 3D game engine platform Unity is reportedly investing in a "digital twin" solution - a virtual representation of a physical site, asset, system or process, which exists in the real world.

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