Mark Zuckerberg really wants to be the king of the Metaverse. While not a reality at this time, the Facebook CEO is adamant on making his version of the Metaverse a pillar of an even-more-digital future. As with any massive company, this all starts with Metaverse for Work.
Thanks to a report by The Verge, we can now see just what Facebook's Metaverse for Work looks like. At the moment, it's still an unfinished application. However, it's looking just as dull and soulless as you'd expect it to.
Facebook's Metaverse for Work looks like crap Rec Room
Currently, Facebook's virtual reality workspace looks like most VR applications. Horizon Workrooms, as they call it, virtualises your co-workers into digital approximations similar to the look of an Xbox One avatar. Once in the room, you can proceed to sit at a desk and commence an ordinary meeting or walk up to a digital whiteboard and draw obscene images. I mean, draw your ideas to better represent what you're talking about.
The Verge’s Alex Heath describes the experience as “a more immersive way to communicate with people who are physically apart”. Outside of the typical VR tracking quirks, Horizon Workrooms appears to be efficient, even if it’s still in the honeymoon period. However, as Heath notes, it’s hard to see it “catching on beyond the most diehard VR enthusiasts”.
In its current form, Facebook's Metaverse for Work isn't entirely dependent on the Metaverse aspect. Horizon Workrooms digitally recreates 16 participants with 34 additional colleagues being just a standard video call. Facebook AR and VR executive Andrew Bosworth says this might be “the most intense VR application that exists”. What applications have they used?
Limitations in technology
The idea of a Metaverse being the digital hub for work and play has been a cool concept that shouldn't exist. Neil Stephenson’s idea of the Metaverse is cautionary storytelling. Every engaging story surrounding this type of future always has the protagonist attempt to escape it. Except Ready Player One, which is bad.
Facebook's Metaverse for Work isn't the company's full vision is. It's not finished, it's just a component of a larger whole limited by current technology. However, if the digital future is going to eventually be crammed into mixed reality workspaces that look like a straight-to-DVD Pixar rip-off, it's not going to be craved by all.