Saturday, September 23, 2023

Mark Zuckerberg bets Facebook’s future on the metaverse

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Mark Zuckerberg is betting the future of his company on the metaverse — a virtual space in which people interact with each other using avatars and AR/VR technology — and investing tens of billions of dollars in an effort to build the platforms and hardware that will enable a new generation. from users. Now the question is whether Zuckerberg’s gamble that the metaverse is the future of the Internet — and his company — will succeed

One of the biggest parts of that bet is Horizon, Meta’s software that allows people to socialize, work and play in the metaverse. Think of Horizon as a mix of The Sims, Minecraft, and Roblox, where users interact through their avatars in virtual worlds they build.

“We see that the youngest generation is spending an awful lot of time in virtual reality worlds these days,” said Meta’s CMO and head of analytics, Alex Schultz.

Right now, Horizon is only available in Meta’s Quest VR headset, though the company plans to bring it to mobile phones and the web soon. Meanwhile, there are still some major downsides to Horizon: clunky-looking avatars, unwanted interactions with strangers, and the inconvenience of a VR headset weighing on your face.

Alex Heath of The Verge and Shirin Ghaffary of Recode strap on their headsets and enter Horizon in the final episode of the final season of Land of the Giantscafemadrid Media’s award-winning narrative podcast series about the most influential technology companies of our time. This season marked the transformation from Facebook to Meta, with interviews with senior executives, former employees and other experts.

Horizon is an important step in Zuckerberg’s drive to develop the metaverse. But it is not his final vision. The main goal of his company is to release what he has called the “holy grail” device: lightweight augmented reality glasses that seamlessly overlap the digital world with the real world around you. With Apple planning its own AR headset, we’re also exploring how these two tech giants are preparing to battle over what they both believe will be the next major computing platform.

Will Meta be able to maintain its lead in the race to make popular headsets if Apple – a company with a better reputation for privacy and more experience building hardware – joins the race, as widely expected? Our latest episode features never-before-heard audio of Zuckerberg addressing employees internally about the upcoming battle with Apple and what it means for the future of the Internet.

Listen to the latest episode of Land of the Giants: The Facebook/Meta Disruptiona co-production between Recode and The Verge, and watch the first six episodes on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotifyor wherever you get your podcasts from.

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