A new series of patents by Facebook's parent company Meta suggest possible plans from the company to capture users' behavioral biometrics data. Specifically, the patents mention pupil movements, body poses, and crumpled noses, which the company would use to make digital avatars realistically animated. The patents were reviewed by The Financial Times, according to which Meta also intends to use the biometric data to provide hyper-targeted advertising and sponsored content. In fact, one of the patents analyzed by the publication was granted to Meta by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this month and refers to the tracking of users' facial expressions through a virtual reality headset to "adapt media content" based on those responses. A separate patent describes an avatar personalization engine capable of creating a 3D avatar of a user based on biometrics collected from a submitted photo.
You may think that Mark Zuckerberg coined the word'metaverse' as a whole new concept when he rebranded Facebook to Meta. Tech companies have been talking about it for a very long time after Neal Stephenson came up with the term'metaverse' in his science fiction novel'Snow Crash' which is required reading for Meta's (Facebook's) management. Zuckerberg is so heavily invested in the metaverse that Facebook, ouch… Meta, has even changed their stock trading symbol to MVRS. So, is the metaverse going to look like something out of Ready Player One or is it going to just be a catch-all phrase for existing technologies? Let's try to figure out what this Metaverse of Madness is all about.
Mark Zuckerberg claims humanity will move into the metaverse in the future, leaving reality behind for a world of our own creation, that we completely control. The Facebook founder, who has bet everything on the idea of an all encompassing virtual world, including renaming his firm Meta, was speaking to tech podcaster Lex Fridman on a range of topics, including the future of the metaverse. He said there will be a point where virtual worlds are so immersive, and convenient, that we won't want to leave, and this is the point where it becomes the metaverse. These virtual reality environments aren't at that level yet, he explained, but lots of people already live much of their lives in the digital world - just on 2D screens. 'A lot of people think that the metaverse is about a place, but one definition of this is it's about a time when basically immersive digital worlds become the primary way that we live our lives and spend our time,' Zuckerberg told Fridman Meta plans to spend the next five to ten years building an immersive virtual world, including scent, touch and sound to allow people to get lost in VR.
Meta (formerly Facebook) has unveiled a haptic glove prototype that lets users feel objects in virtual reality (VR). The glove, unveiled by Meta Reality Labs, is lined with a series of small air pockets called actuators along the palms and fingers that inflate to create a sense of touch. Commercialising a haptic glove is part of Meta's ambition to transform into a'metaverse' – a collective virtual shared space featuring avatars of real people. Development work on the glove is still ongoing, but once fine-tuned and released to the market, it would allow consumers to tell the difference between holding different materials in the metaverse, such as a plastic pen or a rubber ball. The'metaverse' is a set of virtual spaces where you can game, work and communicate with other people who aren't in the same physical space as you.
Psychotherapist Nina Jane Patel had been on Facebook's Horizon Venues for less than a minute when her avatar was mobbed by a group of males. The attackers proceeded to "virtually gang-rape" her character, snapping in-game pictures as mementos. Patel froze in shock before desperately trying to free her virtual self – whom she had styled to resemble her real-life blond hair, freckles and business casual attire. "Don't pretend you didn't love it," the human voices of the attackers jeered through her headset as she ran away, "go rub yourself off to the photo." The metaverse – the blurrily defined term for the next generation of immersive virtual reality technologies – is still in its infancy.