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What Meta is Doing in the Metaverse

Meta! It became a buzzword after the media company Facebook decided to become a full participant in building the metaverse. While some might think that Meta owns the metaverse, that is not true.

Meta is only one of the large companies that have taken a keen interest in producing suitable technologies to power the metaverse. In light of this, the company has launched software programs and upgraded its existing hardware devices.

Moreover, Meta is funding research efforts toward building a responsible virtual world. Further, it is not upgrading its social media platforms to fit the metaverse. Instead, the company is designing metaverse technologies from scratch. 

This article will discuss products designed by Meta to help foster the development of a real-time metaverse.

Metaverse products from Meta

Meta Quest 2

Formerly known as Oculus Quest 2, Meta Quest 2 is the latest virtual reality headset made by Meta. It is a successor of the initial Meta Quest device.

Meta Quest 2 is a standalone headset that delivers virtual reality that is not only immersive but incredible. On October 13, 2020, Meta launched the hardware device at an introductory price of 299 USD. 

The Meta Quest 2 headset is a fitting device for exploring virtual reality metaverse platforms. Some of its notable features include: 

  • Soft head strap and light weight make it comfortable for players to wear.
  • 128 or 256-gigabyte memory gives enough room to store multiple metaverse games and apps.
  • Six Degrees of Freedom tracking system that precisely transmits body movements into VR.  

With its unique features, Meta Quest 2 is suitable for taking workout lessons and going to concerts in virtual reality along with friends. Moreso, adventure lovers can explore unending metaverse platforms where all forms of adventures are possible.

VR metaverse platforms like Horizon Worlds and Horizon Workspace operate effortlessly on Meta Quest 2. Likewise, players can download more games from the Meta Quest Store and install them on the device. 

Meta Horizon

Meta Horizon or Horizon Worlds is a virtual reality world where you can play games or create experiences. On December 9, 2021, Meta released Horizon Worlds for the U.S and Canadian users. 

It is a free-to-play multiplayer game on the Meta Quest 2 and Oculus Rift S headsets. Horizon Worlds allows players to collaborate and join hands in designing free virtual experiences that any other player can explore. 

Meanwhile, Meta does not leave experience and game design to players only. Instead, it delivers incredible virtual reality events and parties on Horizon Worlds. 

Recently, Meta launched the Horizon Block Party. This venue features exciting content like music performances, VR versions of movies, and sporting events. 

The latest experiences launched by Meta in Horizon Block Party include: 

  • Post Malone’s metaverse performance of his latest album, Twelve Carat Toothache. 
  • Nope World – a VR world with a theme of Jordan Peele’s sci-fi movie, NOPE. 

In Horizon Worlds, Meta also built a recording studio called The Stu; a comedy club; and Arena Clash – a spot where avatars battle with one another to claim victory. 

Players who want to build VR games and experiences have sufficient tools on Horizon Worlds. The tools allow players to be creative by setting up commands, sounds, special effects, and high-fidelity instructions for games.

In the build mode, players can create persistent games and one-time events on Horizon Worlds. In addition, Meta has a page on its website where creators can learn how to use the various tools to build on Horizon Worlds. 

Horizon Workrooms

Workrooms is a virtual reality platform where teams and workmates can conduct in-person meetings. In Horizon Workrooms, you do not have to stare at one another from a screen. Instead, everyone will come together and sit at a table.

Horizon Workrooms is an implementation of what “working in the metaverse” looks like. Why? Consider the following:

  • Teammates can have close discussions and even give one another thumb-ups.   
  • Horizon Workrooms allows you to share your screen in VR via the Oculus Remote Desktop app.
  • You can recreate your entire office and desk in a simulated environment.
  • Meeting rooms have virtual whiteboards which workmates can use to sketch diagrams and write points.
  • You may decide to make your meetings more relaxed and natural by meeting in coastal environments.

Horizon Workrooms is only accessible on the Quest 2 VR headset. Also, only 50 persons can join a room at once. Nevertheless, the app is a free service from Meta.

In addition, it gives room for flexibility for workers who may not own Meta Quest 2. The team lead can create a workspace in VR while other members dial in through video calls and have a vision of the entire room.

Meta Spark

Spark AR (Meta Spark) is software for creating augmented reality (AR) effects and experiences. It requires a high level of creativity as its users need to blend effects with their immediate environments.

In Spark AR studio, you can create effects that sync with a video or picture. Also, Spark AR can recognize natural objects and overlay virtual objects on them. Thus, creating an added reality to the existing one. 

During the 2022 Coachella Valley festival, dozens of artists created AR experiences displayed on Instagram. Regarding the metaverse, Spark AR can be a valuable tool for developing augmented reality objects that will fit into the physical world. 

Regulatory concerns

Meta is not turning deaf ears to the privacy complaints people are making against its available products. Similarly, the company seems prepared to tackle any privacy issues that might spring up from its metaverse products. 

One of Meta’s recent efforts is a $50 million fund channeled towards research about its metaverse products. The fund will help Meta’s research partners like Chuo University, Australian National University, and Safernet (Brazil) determine how it can tackle privacy and other safety concerns in the metaverse. 

In conclusion, Facebook (sorry, Meta) is deeply invested in building the would-be metaverse. While we are yet to experience the real metaverse, we can hope that technologies designed by companies like Meta will usher in a fully-immersive alternative life.