Thu. Nov 24th, 2022

It was with some trepidation that Phil Libin put on his Oculus VR headset to test out Meta’s first metaverse product.

I went into it expecting it to be terrible, but I had high hopes of being pleasantly surprised, Libin told us in an interview with Insider. Meta’s Horizon Workrooms product was being tested by him and his Mmhmm videoconferencing company employees. People can hold virtual work meetings in the so-called metaverse using Horizon Workrooms. Libin’s instincts proved to be correct, he said. He remarked, “It was only bearable for a few minutes. With familiar technologies like Skype, he thinks virtual reality (VR) is less appealing.

Meta’s vision for the Metaverse

People can still go about their day-to-day lives, such as grabbing a cup of coffee. To avoid spilling hot coffee, Libin couldn’t do it with a large plastic thing on his face.

Model of Facebook’s future workrooms

Meta’s virtual reality meeting space, Horizon Workrooms. Facebook

Science fiction uses the term “metaverse” to describe a future internet accessible through virtual reality and augmented reality headsets. Especially Mark Zuckerberg, who renamed Facebook as Meta in October, has been promoting it.

Meta reported a $10 billion loss in its new metaverse business and a decline in its user base for the first time in its history in its fourth-quarter earnings report on Wednesday. It was the largest one-day wipeout in US corporate history when Meta’s stock fell 26.4 percent on Thursday, wiping out nearly $240 billion from the company’s value.

Libin has previously expressed scepticism about the metaverse’s hype. Recently, he spoke about how the hype reminds him of Soviet-era communist propaganda he heard as a kid.

And he’s still not on board.

A “godawful” package of things, according to him, is Meta’s metaverse vision of a “interconnected 3D world that we experience for many hours each day, both for fun and for work, primarily through VR.”

This is an idea that has been around for some time, Libin told Insider. Despite numerous attempts over the past four decades, “it’s unoriginal and has never worked.”

According to Libin, proponents of the metaverse believe that we will have to wait to see its full potential; he disagrees. I believe great technology starts out primitive, but it immediately becomes great,” he declared. There’s no doubt that great technology gets better with time, he said.

As an example, he cited his first Amazon purchase in the mid-1990s, which was a video game console.

“My first online purchase was made through Amazon in the mid-1990s, when the site was still in its infancy. The only thing you could do on the site was buy books. In addition, there was no one-click checkout; it was a very basic experience throughout. It wasn’t until I started reading a few books that I realised how incredible this is.”

Libin had this to say about Horizon Workrooms:

“As bad as things started, they won’t get any better. It all began in a naive way. It’s possible for it to become more advanced, but it will only be more advanced — and still bad.”

By Adam

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