Facebook has turned its social media battleship to the meta-universe, that is, like in novels such as “Avalanche” and “Ready Player One”, all virtual worlds are interconnected. This is evident in today’s Facebook Connect online event,CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced new stepping stones to the meta-universe in his journey of VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality).
It seems that Zuckerberg took this journey so seriously that he announced that he would change the company’s name to Meta.
As part of an extensive effort involving billions of dollars in research, Zuckerberg introduced social VR with Horizon Home. The product uses the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset to entertain people in the connected VR space. In addition, users will be able to make Messenger calls in VR. In addition, Zuckerberg also announced the upcoming new AR glasses Azeray and high-end VR helmet Project Cambria.
Zuckerberg said at the press conference: “We believe that this advancement in technology is that we continue to get more natural ways to connect and communicate with each other. In Facebook’s life, we began to enter text on the site, and then we With a cameracell phone. As a result, the Internet has become more intuitive and mobile. Then as the connection gets better, we now have a wealth of videos, which are more immersive as our main way of sharing experiences. “
Of course, Facebook now faces many problems. Antitrust regulators are investigating it globally, and in the past few weeks it has faced some bad news leaked by whistleblowers about putting profits above user welfare. In addition,AppleAfter putting privacy above targeted advertising, its financial performance has also slowed. Its social media business has entangled many issues, but it also provided the company with an unprecedented financial engine, with revenue of $29 billion in the September 30 quarter. And this also provides it with sufficient funds. When it comes to welcoming the meta-universe, it may be the most ambitious company. Zuckerberg said that this is the next generation of the Internet.
In view of these controversies, Zuckerberg said at the event: “I just want to admit that I know that there may be a group of people who say that now is not the time to focus on the future. And I want to admit that there are obviously important issues that need to be resolved. We are committed to Continue to do this and continue our large-scale industry-leading efforts in this area. At the same time, I think there will always be problems now. Therefore, I think it is still very important to move forward and continue to work hard to create the future.”
Zuckerberg continued to invest in VR, and also pointed out that his Facebook Reality Lab department-including Oculus-this year will invest more than 10 billion US dollars for metaverse work including VR and AR. Facebook also plans to hire more than 10,000 people for the department in Europe.
As for its definition, Zuckerberg said that it is not like people’s Zoom phones during the pandemic. Zuckerberg said that meta-space should make people feel that they are embedded in a place-there is a sense of existence, that they are transmitted to a certain place. He pointed out that games will be the first way for people to step into metaspace, because games have an economic basis for interacting with fans through virtual goods.
In the press conference before the event and in his speech, Zuckerberg spoke extensively about how the company views Metaspace. “Basically, we believe that Metaspace is the successor of the mobile Internet. In this sense, the mobile Internet has not completely replaced everything before. This is not to say that Metaspace will completely replace the previous things. But it is the next one. Platform. In this sense, it is not something built by a company. It is a broader platform, and I think we will all contribute to construction in an open and interoperable way.”
In addition, he added: “We think Metaspace is a specific Internet. Therefore, instead of looking at the Internet or documents, I think that is the experience we have today. It is an Internet. You will become a part of it. There are qualitative differences. We believe that the decisive feature of existence in metaspace is this sense of existence, just like you are with another person or another place.”
Andrew Bosworth, head of the Facebook Reality Lab, said at a press conference: “What we really want to eliminate is the idea that only through VR can enter the meta-universe. This is not the vision we imagined, although it is 3D, even though it It’s immersive. There are many 3D immersive things that we get today through screens and mobile phones, through Fortnite and video games or more social experiences.”
However, Bosworth pointed out that in VR and AR, the meta-universe experience will be better. “So it just depends on the environment. If I’m on the road, I’m probably on my phone. If I’m in this room myself, VR might be a better way. If I’m in this room with other people Here, AR may be a way to approach it. Therefore, people will connect with the meta-universe in many ways.”
Zuckerberg said that privacy and security must be established in the meta-universe from the very beginning. He said that in his vision, people can project meta-universe objects into the physical world as holograms. People can gesture with their own hands instead of tapping or typing. People’s devices will not be the focus of their attention. But Zuckerberg said that it must be open, interoperable and not built by one company.
In addition, he also pointed out that the meta universe will release a huge creator economy.
Facebook is working with Vertigo to develop five upcoming games. Zuckerberg said he likes “Beat Saber”, which has just surpassed $100 million on Quest alone. “Population: One” is a battle shooting game on Quest. Since its launch last year, it has become the most popular VR multiplayer shooting game on Quest. In addition, it has been updated regularly. The game requires 24 people to participate in a game.
“Blade & Sorcery: Nomad” will be released on Quest later this year. Following the launch of “Resident Evil 4” on Quest this month, “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” will also be available in VR. Zuckerberg said that this is a new version of “one of the greatest games of all time.” Zuckerberg showed many ideas, such as playing a simple chess game with a friend through AR technology, or fencing with a remote person, or even playing basketball with a friend through VR.
In order to talk more about the upcoming games, Oculus will hold a related theme game exhibition next year.
Facebook announced Horizon Home at the event. Soon, when attending an Oculus party in VR, users will be able to invite their friends into a new social version of the home, where they will use their avatars. Users will be able to spend time with friends, watch videos together and launch games and applications together.
In addition, you can also communicate with your friends on all applications and devices-including portals-and Messenger will open calls in VR later this year. Anywhere in VR, users will be able to invite their Facebook friends to join Messenger calls and eventually spend time together or go to VR destinations.
Zuckerberg said: “In terms of software, it is important that this can be done continuously on different devices. Therefore, we will talk about AR glasses. We will talk about VR devices for the most immersive experience. But, of course, you can jump into the metaspace through mobile phones and computers-including the social media applications we have built. This will be very important because people are already there all day to connect.”
Horizon Home, Horizon Workroom and Horizon Worlds will all be part of the company’s efforts to create VR spaces for homes, work and other spaces.
“This is our collaborative experience. People gather together, work in a virtual room, and feel the sense of presence together,” Bosworth said. “It helps them communicate, collaborate and connect remotely.”
According to reports, Horizon Worlds’ VR social space is still being tested, but the number of users is increasing every day.
“We were very surprised by the imagination and collaboration of the creator community there,” Bosworth said.
He said the company has added a $10 million creator fund to encourage more investment in Horizon Worlds.
New fitness products on Oculus include supernatural boxing, the new FitXR fitness studio, and Player 22 by Rezzil, which is currently used by professional athletes.
Next year, Facebook will also release Active Pack for Quest 2. The company is making a fitnessAccessoriesThis makes the Quest 2 more comfortable, there will be a controller handle when the exercise becomes intense, and a facial interface can help wipe off sweat, so that the user’s course becomes more comfortable.
Zuckerberg pointed out that fitness on Quest is like a Peloton without a bicycle. And the vision for the next step looks pretty cool. Users will be able to exercise with AI in the new world.
Zuckerberg said that you will be able to play fitness apps such as three-on-three basketball in a group, or do an AR charity ride through the Facebook cycling group, and even fencing with people on the other side of the world, and so on.
VR for work
Facebook also announced Quest for Business, which includes support for work accounts on Quest 2. New commercial products will introduce work capabilities into consumer Quest devices, including using work accounts instead of personal Facebook accounts to log in to Quest 2. It will also bring companies the tools they need, such as account management, IDP and SSO integration, and mobile device management. It will start testing this year, will be converted to a public beta in 2022, and will be fully launched in 2023.
In addition, there will be 2D applications that will come to the Quest of Horizon Home. Facebook will announce that services like Slack, Dropbox, Facebook, and Instagram will soon work in VR as 2D panel applications in Horizon Home-which means users can multitask between game sessions.
The first batch of 2D applications announced by the Oculus Store today include Facebook, Instagram, Smartsheet and Spike. More apps like Dropbox, Monday.com, MURAL, My5 (UK), PlutoTV and Slack will follow soon, and they are all built using progressive Web App industry standards.
Facebook also added a new personal workspace environment to Horizon Home. This is a place to concentrate on working with the new 2D panel application suite, or just to check something on the user’s to-do list.
Facebook had earlier announced its Horizon Workrooms VR experience for office meetings. Now, it is increasing the customization features of Workrooms. For Horizon Workrooms, it will add the ability to customize workplaces with company logos, posters or designs.
Zuckerberg said: “I am generally optimistic about the work of Metaverse.”
He pointed out that working in the meta universe, with things like teleportation, if you travel once a year, you can bring huge changes to the environment.
Facebook is announcing its Presence Platform, which is a wide range of machine perception and artificial intelligence capabilities that will enable developers to build MR experiences on the Quest platform. Real presence will be the key to feeling connection in the meta-universe, and the capabilities of the presence platform will be realized through environmental understanding, content placement and persistence, voice interaction, and standardized hand interaction.
Zuckerberg said: “In the past five years or so, one of the lessons we have learned is that we have to take into account some principles, that is, what we want to build in front of us must be clear where we are going and what we are going to build. Not only to provide consumers with a great product, but also to build a great creative economy for creators and developers and let them participate and become part of what they create.”
It is understood that the Presence platform consists of three products. Insight Software Development Kit (SDK), used to develop mixed reality experiences; Interaction SDK, which makes it easier to add hand interactions to applications; Voice SDK, which makes voice input part of the experience they build.
“This sense of presence has a magical feeling,” Zuckerberg said: “I think being able to provide this feeling is the ultimate dream of building these social experiences.”
Zuckerberg pointed out that it is launching tools that allow any developer to start creating and testing progressive web applications (PWAs) on Quest devices. In the near future, developers will be able to send their PWA to App Lab.
PWA developers will be able to submit application packages to Oculus, and their applications will be displayed in the Oculus Store or App Lab. PWA applications are kept up-to-date and do not require application package updates. This is because they display real-time content from the developer’s website. This will enable developers to convert the 2D experience of their website into an application on Oculus. PWA in App Lab can also use WebXR.
Avatars 2.0 SDK will be launched in December, and it will completely transform Avatars in VR. Facebook will launch a new cloud backup system later this year, which will allow users to back up their device’s application data such as game progress or settings, so they can easily continue to use it in the game. It works at the file system level without coding.
Facebook said it is exploring new ways to view ownership through technologies such as NFTs.
In addition, multiplayer games are also being upgraded. This includes direct invitation application programming interface (API), which will allow users to send invitations directly from their user experience. It will also introduce a new channel from the discovery side to an application called Aks to Join, which will have a way to make friends with other users and the discovery opportunities of VR and 2D more easily. Facebook has also established a new multiplayer game sample-SharedSpaces, which will help developers start using the new social platform API. It is reported that it can be used in Unity and Unreal 4.
As VR enters an inflection point, Facebook is investing in core technologies and the work required to bring full-featured AR glasses to the market.
The company has put as much technology as possible into the glasses that it cooperates with Ray-Ban Story today, and it is also working hard to realize full-featured AR glasses. The company is also cultivating content, capabilities, and communities to enrich today’s Facebook experience, and it also illuminates the future of AR glasses through the Spark AR platform.
With Spark AR, Facebook’s AR platform, used to create and publish on applications and devices, Facebook sees that many people are participating in AR technology today. Over 700 million people use AR effects on Facebook apps and devices every month.
The new Spark AR function will release more complex AR experiences and use cases through location services, virtual objects and new input models.
It provides a new geo-locking experience for public spaces. This allows multiple AR activation points to be used to lock the position of the connection in a cohesive long-form experience. Currently, this company is testing with Spark Partner Network and selected brands-including Japan’s Sanrio, and will be open to all creators in 2022.
Body tracking and gesture tracking
Facebook will have new capabilities to achieve more fanciful, interesting and imaginative self-expression through AR effects. It is currently doing basic work to unlock the human-centered input form to interact with virtual objects in AR-November is coming.
The Virtual Objects Pipeline will allow people to create and place 3D objects in the real world, which can include text, characters, GIFs, stickers, etc. To ensure true performance, this will also include underlying technical capabilities such as depth, occlusion, and improved planar tracking. This will be available in a private beta later this year and will be open to everyone in 2022.
Virtual objects are vital to the future of AR and are the cornerstone of continuity in the meta-universe. These objects are built on the basis of Spark AR, and they will have versatility and scalability in different surfaces and use cases such as business and shopping, and have virtual try-on and product preview functions.
For creators, Facebook is making it easier to participate and reach new audiences in the AR ecosystem. Through Polar, it is making a brand new, free iOS app, making it easy to imagine, create and share AR effects and filters without coding or working in the Spark AR studio. Creators will be able to expand their personal brand, artistic and creative horizons in new ways-such as virtual stickers with their own slogan or a small gift they can share during the AMA. Later this year, it will open applications for closed beta testing of iOS.
Facebook said its Facebook Reality Labs will beeducateThe investment of 150 million U.S. dollars in the project. Its purpose is to help create economic opportunities for AR/VR creators and developers, from new training and career development resources to new content and technical cooperation.
In less than a year, more than 22,000 creators have signed up for Facebook’s AR course program. Right now, the company is expanding its Spark AR course to cover additional AR training courses–including a new AR course. Pro courses-and a formal Spark AR certification program.
Spark AR certification
For the first time, Facebook will provide AR creators with a formal way and plan to prove their knowledge and proficiency in Spark AR, in addition to obtaining the Facebook Certified Spark AR Creator certificate. It is reported that the first exam will be held in November, and registration will begin soon.
Creators who have obtained the Spark AR certification will gain access to the Facebook Certified Professional Network. There are more than 60 companies on this job search platform that hope to hire technical talents, including BBDO, Havas Media, GroupM and other organizations.
In addition, Facebook is working with game engine developer Unity to help people acquire the skills needed to create VR content, and bundle Unity’s Create with VR for Educators tools and training with Quest 2 equipment for non-profit organizations and educational institutions. Together. In addition, it will also work with organizations to help them turn their vision of immersive and collaborative learning experiences into reality.