What is ‘metaverse’? Mark Zuckerberg’s science fiction vision

What is ‘metaverse’? Mark Zuckerberg’s science fiction vision

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has earlier referred to a science fiction dream and said: “Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life”. Facebook has now announced a USD 50 million investment in global research and program partners to create the “Metaverse” –  future virtual spaces.

“The metaverse won’t be built overnight by a single company. We’ll collaborate with policymakers, experts and industry partners to bring this to life”, the company said in a blog post.

The idea about Metaverse originates from science fiction stories and supposed to be first mentioned in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson in 1992. The word is a combination of the prefix “meta”, meaning beyond, and “universe”. In the stories, it is shared virtual worlds with land, buildings and avatars. Things are bought and sold using cryptocurrency.

As we focus on helping to build the next computing platform, our work across augmented and virtual reality and consumer hardware will deepen that human connection regardless of physical distance and without being tied to devices”,  Andrew Bosworth, VP, Facebook Reality Labs and Nick Clegg, VP, Global Affairs, said in the blog.

They stress that “success depends on building robust interoperability across services, so different companies’ experiences can work together. We also need to involve the human rights and civil rights communities from the start to ensure these technologies are built in a way that’s inclusive and empowering.”

”The metaverse isn’t a single product one company can build alone. Just like the internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not. And it won’t be built overnight. Many of these products will only be fully realized in the next 10-15 years. While that’s frustrating for those of us eager to dive right in, it gives us time to ask the difficult questions about how they should be built.”

The company’s XR Programs and Research Fund, are described as a two-year $50 million investment in programs and external research.

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