The metaverse is gaining legs – Culture

Mark Zuckerberg performs a small jump in the air – and lands safely on his own feet. Why is it worth reporting? Because he had mastered the jump into virtual reality.

You should know that avatars, that is to say the bodies of users in virtual reality applications today, look more like floating busts. Digital bodies are cut from the waist. It was more of a necessity than an aesthetic decision. On the one hand, to prevent users from tripping over their own furniture with their glasses and thus being blind to the real reality. And on the other hand, because too much movement in the virtual version of reality makes people nauseous.

When we talk about virtual reality, supposedly opinion leader in their contributions to the debate and to the keynotes, they like to talk about immersion and presence, that is to say the feeling of being there. But at the big conference the meta group held last week to show people how they should live and work in the future, the new legs caused a stir. But there is still a long way to go in that future: On Thursday, Meta admitted in a statement that the air jump performed had been cheated. This didn’t actually take place in VR, but was simply created as artificial animation for the demo video.

Perhaps this is how the metaverse by arrangement prevails

And fundamental questions also arise: why should people want to isolate themselves even more tightly from the outside world after two and a half years of experience with the home office – and spend $1,500 on the necessary technology? Meta now cooperates with Microsoft to integrate Office programs such as Word or Excel into the Metaverse. “We believe a unified digital office can dramatically improve distributed work,” Zuckerberg said.

You then look through the VR glasses, which are nothing more than two screens mounted directly in front of your eyes, into an artificial space in which you in turn look at a screen. It’s hard to imagine much more alienation. Also, instead of fantastic landscapes, you only have a boring desktop in mind. But that’s not all dystopia: Inside the glasses, five cameras are aimed at the user’s face in order to transfer eye movements and facial features to the avatar. With the history of the meta business, it’s hard to imagine that the data read this way won’t also come to market at some point.

Instead of the future of the internet, the importance of social interactions in digital spaces, and our relationships with the virtual and physical world, it’s ultimately about more productivity. And another level of control. Because if you’re logged in as an avatar, you can’t even quickly turn off the camera. And so maybe it will soon be easy to answer the why question: Because you have to.

Meta shows how it’s done. Company management recently complained that its own employees weren’t using the glasses often enough. The vice president of the group therefore wrote a fiery letter: Everyone who works in the company should make it their mission to fall in love with the artificial world. On demand.

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