We’re All Mad Here: Is Zuckerberg Insane, or Revolutionary?

Image Source: The Metaverse and How We’ll Build It Together — Connect 2021

Facebook has officially changed its name to Meta, as of 28th October, 2021. After Google made the switch to their new name, Alphabet, now it seems Facebook is keen to follow suit. Facebook would like to change its name to reflect the fact that the platform is not solely for social media anymore. So, we can understand this re-branding move. Mark Zuckerberg’s main passion is to connect people.

Zuckerberg is not the first visionary to try this. Remember Second Life? It is still active. In its prime, it was extremely popular. I visited Linden Lab’s office back in 2007 in San Francisco and was spending a good amount of time every day on the platform. It has remained a nice virtual environment, similar to an online game.

The founder, Philip Rosedale went on to find High Fidelity, with the intent to build an even better version that included VR capabilities. It seems with this initiative that he, again, was a visionary way before his time. Today, they have pivoted to provide spatial audio features; nothing more.

In 2010 another visionary, Rony Abovitz, launched a very mysterious start-up, called Magic Leap. After a while they revealed what they were working on: a mixed reality headset seeing the real world and overlaying a virtual world on top of it. They designed effective videos demonstrating really cool use cases. However, they suffered with the development and deployment of the technology.

Google, now Alphabet, worked on the so called Glass project. Microsoft has their Hololens mixed reality device. Taiwanese HTC calls their VR headset, Vive. Facebook has their hands in the game, too, by acquiring Oculus in 2014 to encourage VR technology within the Facebook world. Still, the tech has not yet had the opportunity to turn into a mainstream device, either.

But why isn’t virtual reality scaling?

One reason might be that carrying such a device with you is not very practical. We have our mobile phones with us. That’s the reason why augmented reality is more applied to various use cases.

Another reason might be that VR usage causes motion sickness for some. It definitely does for me. I try out different applications, games, and use cases every now and then, and most of the time, especially if there is some sort of movement at play, my body — brain coordination gets out of balance, and I feel sick within just a few minutes.

So, I can’t attend a one-hour training or play a game for too long. Why should I bother then, to jump in a virtual world if I will get motion sick and can’t continue longer than just a few minutes?

Virtual reality use cases must become richer.

This is not just about gaming or entertainment. From business to education, from healthcare to architecture, creative ways of using AR, VR, or MR are getting better and better. The real world is three-dimensional. But our screens are two-dimensional. So, we are missing one dimension. Our brain is built to interpret a 2D image into 3D. But diving into a 3D reality is incredibly powerful.

Imagine you can experience a construction site virtually and remotely in perfect detail. Sound good? Yes, unbelievably valuable. Saves on travel cost, exposes mistakes or misunderstandings, gives all stakeholders a different version of reality, and allows crowded teams collaborate virtually and remotely. In architecture and product design, it makes perfect sense. 3D related use cases are predestined to be enriched with augmented or virtual reality extensions.

The human body is 3D as well. Therefore, healthcare applications make a lot of sense. Investigating the anatomy of the body, looking into a CT scan in 3D, enriching a real surgery with augmentation to support the surgeon with live data, and similar use cases could revolutionise medical services…

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We are changing the way consulting is delivered through our Digital Maturity Index Platform by measuring, baselining, and benchmarking your digital maturity.

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