"Within the next decade, the metaverse will have a billion users and host billions of dollars worth of business," Mark Zuckerberg said during an Oculus Connect event today. Oh really? Facebook... wait, no, now it's Meta, right?... is unveiling the Metaverse? And we're supposed to buy that? I have ... questions for you, Mark. Questions like:
What does the metaverse look like, anyway? During Oculus Connect, Facebook showed off several different virtual environments, mixing holograms and avatars and cartoons into one big virtual meatloaf – but who likes meatloaf? Which version of VR are you really in favor of, Zuck?
You showed off a cool vision of a few friends attending a concert, one as a hologram, the other as a real person – but could that hologram somehow see? How did the two friends interact? Was one beamed from some sort of overhead laser thingy?
You know how staged product photography often omits the clutter of the real world? As in laptops that are never plugged in to charge, and TVs that never have the power and cable connections we all try to hide behind the armoire?
Were you trying for the same thing? How come almost no one in the Occulus Connect event actually wore Oculus gear? Is it because it's kind of uncomfortable?
Remember that whole thing about mask face, how the straps can dig in over time? Did you fix that?
Oh, and by the way, Mark, have you seen Microsoft's Hololens? The whole Microsoft Mesh thing the company came out with last year, which allowed anyone to shared virtual objects – doesn't that sound a lot like what you're describing? Did you think about licensing that technology, maybe?
Wait... is this a joke?
Quick thought: Given that people don't like wearing face masks at the office or pretty much anywhere, even though masks can save their lives, why would anyone want to wear a VR headset all day?
Is there any evidence that headsets have gotten smaller, or more comfortable? And even if they did, would they get comfortable enough for anyone to want one on for 12 hours?
And here's another one to muse on, Mark: given that few people would trust you to walk their dog, why would they further invest in your ecosystem?
Anyone remember that movie Lawnmower Man, from 30 years ago? Have we actually made any progress toward that, or are we still dreaming?
Wait a second: Am I in The Matrix?
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After 25 years covering the technology industry, Jeremy Kaplan is a familiar face in the media world. As Content Director for TechRadar, he oversees product development and quality. He was formerly Editor in Chief of Digital Trends, where he transformed a niche publisher into one of the fastest growing properties in digital media. Before that, he spent half a decade at one of the largest news agencies in the world, and cut his teeth in magazine business, long before the birth of the iPhone. In 2019, he was named to the FOLIO: 100, which honors publishing professionals making an industry-wide impact.