We delved into the metaverse to interview the vice president of Meta |  Opinion

We delved into the metaverse to interview the vice president of Meta | Opinion

This text starts out different. Usually the journalist signs the article and informs the place where he wrote it. The point is that I traveled to São Paulo to have access to virtual reality (VR) glasses that allow me to dive into the metaverse. So far this has been the case: the concept that to experience the future of the internet, you need a special device. Our interviewee, Maren Lau, Meta’s regional vice president (formerly Facebook) for Latin America, disagrees with this view. She believes that the metaverse will have several “entry points”, among which the phones will stand out, practically in everyone’s pocket.

Maren says the metaverse is the biggest business opportunity since the invention of the internet. She gives advice to content creators and businesses who want to swim in this new reality. He also talks about security in a new environment with a high probability of crashing into the toxicity of other networks. See you and answers below.

But first, I need to give my personal account of what it is like to do a metaverse interview on the metaverse proposed by the Meta conglomerate. prize a metainterview?

🔎 What is a metaverse? Understand the project that changed the name of Facebook

Maren Lau speaks to TechTudo directly from the metaverse – Photo: Disclosure / Meta

Close your eyes and visualize a meeting room with the aesthetics of The Sims. The table has a semicircular shape, with a screen in one of the corners. There are several places available. If you look to the left, you see a giant panel for real-time notes, like a blackboard. A completely corporate place, isn’t it?

Looking to the right, however, you can see rock formations and a calm turquoise sea. All that was missing was the smell of the sea air to deceive this Rio journalist. Okay, not because of that, but in fact we see a paradigm shift in this type of 3D construction. Since it is possible to create any environment, why not do something different from what people are used to in this physical world?

Meta Quest 2 – Photo: Disclosure / Meta

To get to this place you need glasses that the battery lasts two, maybe three hours. Not much. Acclimatization with that little weight on the head happens quickly. The high-resolution screen does not display the pixels that make up the image.

In both corners are speakers that create the stereo effect. It is very welcome when there are as many people in the room as you can tell where the sound is coming from.

This is one of the biggest challenges of virtual reality and, therefore, of the metaverse: being able to replicate the experience face to face. Meta also proves when it creates artificial intelligence to move the mouths of avatars as the true voice of the people arrives. It is misleading, but the moments of failure are enough to denounce that it is not even a perfect solution.

Another problem concerns the ranges of 3D characters: they do not exist. All the conviviality in the environment built in Workrooms, one of the company’s platforms, involved dolls seen only from the waist. At first it’s fun and different, but then it gets a little weird.

Finally, the interaction with the 3D elements takes place by means of sensors in the controls of the VR glasses. They have to sit at a nearby table to map their gestures. You can access a 3D computer in the metaverse and perform some activities. It requires skill and a little patience. Clicks and taps don’t always work the first time.

High five avatars on the Workrooms platform – Photo: Disclosure / Meta

It was really like that – Photo: Thássius Veloso / TechTudo

Sometimes the puppets seem to change position abruptly. In particular, fists make unnatural movements – I would say they attack our biology at times.

All this report helps me to conclude that it was interesting to participate in this metaverse experience, but that I am not sure if I will accept future encounters in an ever limited environment. Maybe it makes more sense for the games and apps that appeal to the game. If the idea was to replicate the physical world in digital, at least for now, the feeling is that there is a long way to go.

Maren is with us precisely to deal with this trajectory. Questions and answers were edited for clarity and brevity.

TechTudo – What is the vision of Purpose in the metaverse?

Maren Lau – The metaverse is the evolution of social technologies. We understand that it is the next step of the internet, with the construction of social and immersive experiences. It’s not just virtual reality because it can be accessed in 3D and 2D. It will allow for things that are impossible in the physical world, such as the co-presence we have now.

U Purpose working on this project for years, they even bought Oculus for it. What are the rules of coexistence in the metaverse?

We have created many living conditions, such as personal boundaries, which have been announced recently. If I don’t want to approach my avatar, I can set a personal limit. We will continue to work with other actors in the ecosystem. Our priorities are privacy, security and inclusion.

Social networks in general face challenges such as bullying in the online environment. How does this stop in the metaverse?

We need to be responsible in this principle, because then we can lead everything in a very conscious way. The metaverse should take up to 15 years to complete. Meta has invested US $ 50 million over two years so that NGOs, institutions, academics and civic actors can research and take the necessary actions to build this new environment responsibly.

WhatsApp concept in metaverse – Photo: Play / Meta

What are the opportunities for brands and creators?

Many executives ask me why I care about the metaverse now if it’s a project for five, maybe ten years. The truth is that the metaverse will be the biggest economic opportunity since the creation of the internet. Brands and individuals have the opportunity to create and co-create with features we haven’t seen since the beginning of the web. For example, a car company allows users to select parts, assemble the vehicle, and then view the final result in the garage. Become a closer experience. My advice is to start building now. Today, 20% of the time spent by Instagram users is on Reels. People are already using these formats. Content creators can help businesses build bridges with new communities.

The Spark AR platform allows you to create augmented reality filters – Photo: Disclosure / Meta

Do you want to empower creators to use metaverse tools?

Brazil is one of the countries with the most creators. Some people have a very advanced knowledge of these technologies by using the Sparks AR platform. It is a very easy tool to learn and use. Augmented reality filters are a nascent principle. We see a part of the future of metaverse on Instagram because of this. We are committed to educating influencers. We also want companies to start learning new features.

Is there room for diversity and equity?

People can choose exactly what their skin tone will be, to reflect their identity. It is very important to have several hair options or wheelchair avatars. Recently we invited black designers to create filters that better represent the many skin types. On the other hand, the issue of language in Latin America is also important. The Project without language behind it [Nenhuma Língua para Trás, em português] provides real-time translation with on-screen subtitles. The idea is to have this feature even in audio at some point. We can be in the same virtual room with you who speak Portuguese, me with English and someone who speaks Guarani.

The journalist traveled to São Paulo – to access the metaverse – at the invitation of the Purpose.

Thassius Veloso (@thassius) is a journalist specializing in technology, a field he has covered for ten years. is editor of TechTudo and commentator of CBN and give GloboNews. Contact us by email thassius@edglobo.com.br.

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