That’s why Facebook will never own Metauniverse

As Facebook unveils the new name in the coming days, David Shepton tells us why Facebook will never own Metaverse and why it can’t.

Good thing the escalation is fast!

In February of this year, I wrote an introduction to the Metaverse, published in RedShark in April. At the time, my research – I asked my friends and family – showed that no one had heard of it. The only people who had heard of the metaverse were professionals who had already worked on its periphery, such as my friends Brett Danton, HaZ Dullul, and Halli Bjornsson. Brett is a high-class commercial photographer, director and cameraman working on something that is still top secret; HaZ is a director and innovator in virtual production, now producing a feature film based on Unreal Engine and a passion for productivity, and Halley is the CEO of Lockwood Studios, a commercially successful company in designing three-dimensional spaces filled with avatars and creating a fully functional digital economy. in these worlds.

But this week, Facebook found itself on the front page of the BBC’s website with the story that the social media giant had hired 10,000 people in Europe alone “to work on the metacosm.”

It’s impressive. This is a huge commitment to the as yet untested social environment. It is also a fascinating statement of intent. And I believe that at the core of this intention, Facebook wants to be a gateway to the metaworld.

It may be difficult for some people to imagine why the world’s largest social network would like to be a candidate for the title of “Lord of the Metauniverse”, but there is a control trail of causation that dates back several years.

When Facebook bought Oculus

This was first seen when Facebook bought the Oculus Rift in 2014. You can read about it here.

At first glance, the purchase made the same sense as the airline that buys the furniture company. But if you wear glasses to see the future, it is much easier to notice that giant social networks in themselves are almost a metaverse.

If you find it difficult to accept this last sentence, this is understandable, especially if you have based your knowledge of the metaworld on what computer game companies say. The usual, but, in my opinion, erroneous characteristic of the metauniverse is that it is a place where all the game universes will meet. They will all become compatible, and therefore compatible in some way.

I am sure that at least part of this is true, but it ignores the general picture so much that it is actually misleading, even to the extent that it misses a very important point, namely that we are already living at the beginning of the metaverse.

The Internet is the recent ancestor of the metaverse. Many of the defining characteristics of the Internet are prerequisites for a connected digital overlay to our own analog reality.

For example, compatibility is the basis of the Internet. With a few exceptions, I can write and host a website that will be as visible to everyone as a website created by a giant company. My data packets are the same as their data packets. HTML and its successors work in any browser and any computer device on which you can run the browser.

Relationship

That doesn’t make it a metaverse, but I think there probably is something we’re already surrounded by screens and digital displays. Many of them have solid gyroscopes and other spatially aware sensors. Most of them are connected through a network.

My car, the latest Volvo, runs on Android. This is a four-wheeled smartphone. Modern electric cars have as many as seven screens on the dashboard and a display up (HUD) on the windshield.

At night, it’s more like driving a computer game than driving a car. Make other cars aware of each other (it will happen – it’s inevitable), and you drive in a mixed and shared virtual and real reality.

So, we are already immersed in the type of digital reality, and this collection of connected, interacting devices will simply become denser and richer.

And yes, social networks play a role in this. But this will be only one aspect.

Also, as I mentioned in this article, the gaming industry is likely to be only a small subset of the use of the Metaverse. Although the combination of games and social media in a single digital space has more potential than is easy to assess, industrial and commercial applications are broad and far-reaching. BMW designs its factories – and probably their cars in the future – using meta-universe-like ideas as the main copy: the only source of truth, if you will.

So, if you want to make a movie with BMW, in the future you can make an agreement with a car company to use a 3D model, which is not created by someone visually copying the contours of the car, but is an actual copy of the main engineering model of the car.

These meta-universe-friendly facsimiles will become as familiar as photos of goods in an online store. You will be able to walk around them, change the lighting and weather conditions.

So while Facebook clearly wants to set the pace for the metaverse, the reality is that Nvidia has already done so with its Omniverse product (and, of course, Nvidia will be at the center of demand for technology that will facilitate a multi-level fully functional meta universe).

But the real reason why Facebook will never own Metaverse? That’s the word “The.” There can be only one metaverse. If there are several, then they are not metaverses by definition.

And although Facebook is big and powerful, the metaworld will be even bigger. Too big for any single company to control it. The very essence of the metauniverse is that it is universal and above all open. To think that Facebook could own this is a philosophical mistake.

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