After One Year, How Is The Metaverse Faring? Will it ever be a clean technology?

I published a series of essays about a year ago that examined the potential advantages and disadvantages of Facebook’s Metaverse ideas. In some respects, calling it that is unfair because there are other competitors in that market besides Oculus, which Facebook acquired and rebranded as Meta. There were more businesses interested back then, and now there are even more following the metaverse.

I don’t want to rehash the entire series of articles, but the short version is that reducing the need for transportation and keeping people out of hazardous circumstances can have a positive impact on safety and the environment. But if the metaverse is both high quality and not a quagmire of misinformation, human rights violations, and rudeness, the expense of technology might stand in the way.

THE META SIDE DOESN’T LOOK GOOD Unluckily, the Facebook part of the metaverse hasn’t even gotten far enough in quality for those deeper questions to even come into play . Although Horizon Worlds, the main VR app, initially attracted a lot of interest, it has been rapidly losing active users. Similar to VR headsets itself, people are curious to explore new things, but as the novelty wears off, many people stop using them. As they work to make it more stable and pleasant, the company is currently in a “quality lockdown” where new additions are halted.

It’s not entirely apparent how the firm aims to get Horizon Worlds out of its rut or if it will try anything different to realize its larger Metaverse notion. I attempted to log into Horizon Worlds myself to see how it held out, but it appears that they aren’t even letting new users in at the moment, or they don’t think I’m qualified to test it. Whatever their motivations, I was unable to engage with it enough to understand more. But based on everything I’ve read, I don’t now feel like I’m losing out.

It does not appear likely that the new Oculus Pro headset will suffice to salvage it. Although the Oculus Pro has impressive hardware and capabilities, its pricing will prevent all but the most dedicated users from even considering it. Even while consumers often spend upwards of $1,000 on smartphones, it can be challenging to persuade them to spend $300 on a gadget that only supports VR. After all, you can accomplish just about everything with a smartphone. Given all that, $1500 seems like a really hard sell.

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