The social network titan, a year after rebranding itself from Facebook to Meta, is striving to make the metaverse a routine component of daily life, offering new features and promoting new virtual reality gear.
Analysts say the company has lessened the hype as it fails to meet its objective of creating an interactive virtual world that it considers as the next phase of online activity.
The biggest announcement from this week''s Meta Connect event the company''s biggest'' annual conference focused on virtual reality was the release of the much anticipated Meta Quest Pro VR headset, which is perfect for creative professionals.
In Meta''s Horizon World virtual world, there were also legs as in, and legs for user avatars, as well as facial expressions.
Is this the future? The company says yes.
"The metaverse is going to sneak up on us," says Meta Reality Labs vice president Mark Rabkin.
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"I think it''ll be quite far away, and there''ll be some pockets and niches that are suddenly really useful, and then we''ll realize that the gaps...are becoming smaller, and suddenly it''s here."
Executives can save time and money by meeting in the metaverse, and artists may include virtual venues for concert, comedy shows, and other entertainment.
In the metaverse, bridges, skyscrapers, footwear, and more might be used in 3D as part of digital equipment.
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"We''re building things that influence the metaverse and will become part of it," Rabkin said.
"We are investing heavily to move the future closer a bit."
Smiles and nods
Facebook changed its alias Meta last year as a means to our future as a metaverse.
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In a small step on the way, the $1,500 (roughly Rs. 1,25,000) Quest Pro headset aimed at architects, engineers, and designers, among others, features new features that are designed to increase users'' perception of being in the presence of others.
"The moment they begin to chip into a smile or when they raise their eyebrows... your avatar should be able to express all of that and more," Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg said.
Quest Pro has stated that it is working with Microsoft, Adobe, Accenture, and other companies to sync popular work software with virtual reality solutions.
"At Microsoft, we''re extremely excited about the metaverse and how digital and physical worlds are coming together," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during the presentation.
According to Rabkin, Microsoft is "really leaning in" to develop its widely-used productivity software, as well as tools for its own HoloLens augmented reality headset, which is compatible with Quest Pro.
Zuckerberg stressed that Meta wants its VR platform to match the expectations of other companies.
"Not only will our goods be used on a range of devices, but also not our own," Rabkin said.
Technologies incorporated into Quest Pro are expected to eventually be converted into lower-priced headsets destined for average consumers.
The hype is being dealt with.
The Verge, a tech news website, quoted Zuckerberg as saying he didn''t expect the metaverse to make the company a significant amount of money for years, resulting in a "trough of disillusionment."
Meta, an analyst for Creative Strategies, has de-emphasized the metaverse in favor of discussing more about the effects of it.
"I''m assuming it," Milanesi told AFP.
According to AFP, corporations are investing billions of dollars in the metaverse''s building blocks, with Meta leading the pack.
Microsoft, Sony, and HTC are among the players, and Apple is rumoured to be planning to release its own virtual reality headset.
"On the one hand, Mark Zuckerberg must be recognized as a hero and as a visionary, because he''s pushing the industry like no one else," Illenberger said.
"On the other hand, his bad reputation also kind of, in some way, blames the metaverse as a technology."
Rebranding Facebook as Meta is a move to dispel the tech firm from controversies, including one whistleblower who said it valued profit over user safety.