Facebook made an announcement yesterday that they would make an investment of $50 million partnering with different organizations so that they can build the virtual metaverse responsibly. Metaverse is a digital world where the users can communicate and move around in the virtual environment. It is accessible to users through a wide range of devices. Through this XR Programs and Research Fund, Facebook will be investing money over the next two years in companies all over the world. The company wishes to ensure that metaverse technologies are developed in an empowering and inclusive way.
They are also planning on working with researchers on data safety, privacy, accessibility, and inclusivity. Their aim is to ensure that research technologies are used in a manner that encourages competition in this nascent industry.
Led by Mark Zuckerbeg, this social media giant has already invested a lot in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). They are also working on wristband technology, AR glasses, VR headsets (Oculus), etc. Since they also own WhatsApp and Instagram, they might use these platforms as the building blocks of their metaverse prototypes.
This announcement has come about a month after they launched Horizon Workrooms, their VR app. Through Workroom, they can let their VR headset-enabled users meet in a virtual space that is populated by their avatars. People who don’t have a headset can join as well with a video call. There can be about 50 people on the call, but only 16 can join with the avatars in the VR space.