A year after rebranding itself from Facebook to Meta, the social network titan is striving to make the metaverse a daily component of daily life, offering new features and developing new virtual reality gear.
Analysts argue that the company has reduced the hype a bit as it struggles to reach its objective of creating an interactive virtual world, which it believes is the next stage of online activity.
The most anticipated Meta Quest Pro VR headset, designed for creative professionals, was the launch of this week''s Meta Connect event.
In Meta''s Horizon World virtual world, there were also legs as in, 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," said Meta Reality Labs vice president Mark Rabkin.
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"I think it will be quite far away, and there''ll be certain areas 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 can embrace virtual venues for concerts, comedy shows, and other entertainment.
Bridges, skyscrapers, footwear, and more may be combined with digital tools in the metaverse.
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"We''re building things that power the metaverse and will be part of the metaverse," Rabkin said.
"We are investing heavily in order to improve the future a bit."
Smiles and nods
Facebook renamed itself Meta on a year ago, indicating its desire to live in a metaverse world.
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The $1,500 (approximately Rs. 1,25,000) Quest Pro headset aimed at architects, engineers, and designers, along with other features, are designed to enhance users'' perception of actually being in the presence of others.
"The moment that they get to smile or increase their eyebrows... your avatar should be able to express all of that and more," says Meta''s chief economist.
Quest Pro is collaborating with Microsoft, Adobe, Accenture, and others to sync up popular work software with virtual worlds.
"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.
Meta has stated that it wants its VR platform to stick with other companies'' offerings.
"Not only will our equipment operate on a range of devices, including not our own, but there will inevitably be multiple universes combined in a variety of ways," Rabkin said.
Projet''s technical advances are expected to be implemented into headsets that are lower-priced, intended for average consumers.
The jarring of the hype
According to The Verge, Zuckerberg did not expect the metaverse to make the company a substantial amount of money for years, putting it in a "trough of disappointment."
For Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi, Meta has de-emphasized the metaverse in favor of talking more about the benefits and consequences of it.
"I''m assuming it" because they discovered out how powerful it is to actually create this world," Milanesi tells AFP.
The company is investing billions of dollars in the metaverse''s construction, according to VRDirect''s managing director, Rolf Illenberger.
Microsoft, Sony, and HTC are among the players, and Apple is alleged to be planning to launch its own virtual reality headset.
Mark Zuckerberg must be recognized as a hero and as a visionary, according to Illenberger.
"On the other hand, his bad reputation lays the metaverse as a technology" in some ways.
Changing Facebook''s name has been criticized for a move to distract the tech business from scandals, including a whistleblower who said the company valued profit over user safety.