The term metaverse was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, in which humans interact as avatars. In Stephenson’s novel, the metaverse refers to a digital universe that can be accessed via VR. As a plot, it has been used in several science fiction works, including the Matrix films, and served as a source of inspiration for the founders of Google, AmazonAnd Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s repeated references to the metaverse throughout 2020 and 2021 caused the concept to gain widespread attention around the world.
Facebook is renamed to Meta
In October 2021, Facebook announced that it had changed its company name to metaplatforms. Announced at the Facebook Connect AR/VR conference, the name change reflects the company’s growing ambitions to go beyond social media and specifically to bring the metaverse to life. The social network Facebook and its other apps, such as delivery boy, InstagramAnd Whatsapp will remain, but under Meta’s roof. The company has also reorganized its business lines and started reporting its financial results AR/VR business as Reality Labswhich had sales of $2.3 billion in fiscal 2021.
Metas AR/VR hardware developments
The company announced it will invest $10 billion in 2021 in its Reality Labs segment — the Metaverse division tasked with developing AR/VR hardware, software, and content. In August 2021, Facebook introduced the VR service Horizon Workrooms, a virtual meeting room where people using VR headsets can meet like at a face-to-face work meeting. In September, the company announced Ray-Ban, a new line of glasses that can shoot video. At the October event, Meta presented details on Project Cambria, a future AR/VR headset that is technically more capable than current Oculus products. The company also referenced Project Nazare, the codename for its first full AR glasses.
Developing the metaverse will require collaboration between businesses, creators, and policymakers. Further investment in product innovation and technical talent is also needed: Meta’s plans to create 10,000 high-skilled jobs in the European Union over the next five years to build the Metaversum underscore this. Although Facebook’s name change may appear as ownership of the metaverse at this early stage, Zuckerberg himself has stated that no single company will own and operate the metaverse. Instead, like the internet, it will function as a collective space, with openness being a key feature. Several companies, including Microsoft, Roblox, and Epic, are already investing in their versions of the metaverse, helped by advances in technology enablers like 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), edgeAnd cloud computing.
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