Facebook’s parent company Meta made a series of announcements this week on the development of the ‘metaverse.’ This virtual reality world allows people to meet and interact in interconnected 3D digital spaces.
At the company’s annual Connect Conference on Tuesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced new virtual reality headsets, upgraded graphics, partnerships with tech giants, and legs for avatars representing users in the metaverse.
Last year, Facebook announced that it was changing its name to Meta to reflect its focus on developing the metaverse.
Mark Zuckerberg Statement On Meta
Mr. Zuckerberg is betting it will be the next big thing and has invested billions of dollars into the technology, but there is a lack of enthusiasm in the tech world and among the wider public.
“Most people haven’t heard of it, don’t care about it, and aren’t interested,” said Elaine Burke, editor of Silicon Republic.
“Many of us are getting used to Zoom meetings and seeing each other on screens, but it is seen as a compromise. It is something you do when the option to meet in person is too difficult, but I don’t think it’s the preferred construct of meeting people. I think we still understand the benefits of meeting in person.”
“The metaverse adds even more layers to that – it’s not just a screen. You have to wear a headset and hold hand controls,” she said.
Some businesses in Ireland have started using the metaverse to train staff and facilitate remote working.
Accenture is partnering up with Meta to help develop the technology and uses it in day-to-day operations.
Recruits are ‘on-boarded’ or introduced to the company via the metaverse.
500 New Hires
Around 500 new hires in Ireland have spent their first days at Accenture in a virtual reality world called the ‘Nth Floor.’
“For us as a business, it gives us new ways to collaborate and new ways for our employees to experience work, to get together with colleagues from across the world, to innovate, and to create in a new and different format,” said Aisling Campbell, head of HR for Accenture in Ireland.
“It gives staff a chance to experience the metaverse when working with clients or colleagues and provides us with another space where people can participate and engage,” Ms. Campbell said.
Brian Smyth is the Metaverse Lead at Accenture and predicts the technology will evolve over the next decade.
“Today, the headsets are fairly large, but in ten years, they will look very different,” he said.
“They’ll look more like reading glasses or contact lenses that can bring us into immersive worlds,” Mr. Smyth added.