49 Object Results


Finding the Metaverse (2021)

During the Connect 2021 conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially rebranded Facebook as ‘Meta’, signalling a shift in the company’s focus from social media apps to building technologies that will be used in the Metaverse.

The Metaverse future is framed as a utopian collaborative (virtual) world-building project where everyone will seemingly have equal access to express themselves. It will involve technologies like VR headsets, AR glasses, 3D avatars, holograms, and neural interfaces, some of which don’t yet exist. Fittingly, the term Metaverse was 
coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 dystopian, cyberpunk sci-fi novel, Snow CrashIn the concept video “Breaking Down the Metaverse”, Zuckerberg describes it as an embodied internet  “that you’re inside of instead of looking at”. Viewers are asked to imagine a future where they can create, learn, socialize, shop, game, and work remotely from anywhere in the world. 

Microsoft also recently shifted their focus to the Metaverse, with plans to incorporate Mesh into their Microsoft Teams app, so that remote workers can have more immersive meetings using 3D avatars. Other companies such as RobloxEpic GamesUtopiaVRSoul Machines, Nike, and Niantic have shared their own visions.

Meta and other large tech companies are fueling a kind of hyper-capitalist fantasy in their race to own a part of this future. Zuckerberg says “The Metaverse will reach one billion people, hold hundreds of billions of dollars worth of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developers".  Soul Machines CEO Greg Cross imagines, “At some point in the future, you might be able to create a digital version of yourself or multiple versions of yourself, and they can go out and do stuff, make money for you, make money for your company, while you’re doing something else that’s a whole lot more fun.” Niantic CEO John Hanke has called the Metaverse “a dystopian nightmare”.

The Finding the Metaverse collection includes artifacts from advertising, corporate websites, journalism, and science fiction.

Related Collection
The AR Cloud: Tech imaginaries, Future Risks and Potential Affordances 
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