The cavalcade of wonders in Mark Zuckerberg's metaverse show last week left out one crutial screenshot: what your body actually looks like while your mind has gone meta.


The catch: the real you is just sitting in a chair wearing goggles.

The video mock-ups of the metaverse Zuckerberg unveiled showed us what remote- presence wizardry might look like from within the 3D dimension. but they omitted the prosaic reality of most current VR.

Todays headsets mostly block out the "real world" - and sometimes induce wooziness, headaches and even nausea.

Why it matters: if you fear screen time atrophies your flesh and cramps your soul or find zoom drains your energy, wait till you experience metaverse overload.

The big picture: Facebook's metaverse project aims to bring productivity to the remote workplace and fun to after - hours online frolics by moving more of our lives to a 3D game world.

The vision is to liberate our digital existence from the confines of the screen, restore our freedom of movement on a more "embodied" internet and enable deeper interpersonal connections in a social environment where we can see and interact with other people.

"When you're in a meeting in the metaverse," Zuckerberg said, "it'll feel like you're right in the room together, making eye contact, having a shared sense of space and not just looking at a grid of faces on a screen.

Yes but: right now, the metaverse isn't "embodied" at all. it's an out-of-body experience where your senses take you somewhere else and leave your body behind on a chair or couch or standing like a blindfolded prisoner.

In the meantime, observers expect a metaverse that's delivered to the public piecemeal.

Aspects of it will turn up first in gaming worlds like Roblox and Fortnight and crypto - based products like NFTs rather than 3D virtual offices and parties.

Zuckerberg says he envisions people accessing the metaverse sometimes in full 3D, sometimes just through "computers and phones"- which could be nifty nut won't be any more "embodied" than todays internet.

Between the lines: Facebook/Meta- along with the rest of today's VR industry - promises to roll out the new 3D internet with due care toward privacy, safety and ethics.

But virtual world makers will feel the same incentives to boost engagement and hold onto users eyeballs in the metaverse that they have on today's social platforms.

That could leave us all nostalgic for our current era of screen blurred vision, misinformation- filled newsfeeds and privacy compromises.

Be smart : from VR's invention 30 years ago, its makers have always dreamed of repairing the cartesian mind/body split that so many tech products promote.

The bottom line: it's possible to imagine an "at-best" scenario in which VR- powered by more fluid tech, innovation fitness applications and passthrough features that mix real and digital fields of vision- becomes truly embodied.

But the business realities of the social internet and the likelihood of slow incremental improvements in todays hardware make the worse case look like a much better bet.

Post a Comment

Please do not enter any spam links in the comments box.

Previous Post Next Post