By Ron Howells • 27 September 2021 • 20:48
Facebook invests $50 million to build a multi-dimensional digital 'metaverse'
Facebook invests $50 million to build a multi-dimensional and fully immersive digital ‘metaverse’.
Facebook Inc has announced today, Monday, September 27, that it intends to invest $50 million- and partner with responsible organizations- to responsibly build the so-called metaverse, a digital world where people can use different devices to move and communicate in a virtual environment.
Facebook, the world’s largest social media network, has already invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality over the past few years. The company said it plans to work with researchers across four areas including data privacy and safety, to allow users to get help if something they see in the metaverse makes them uncomfortable.
It will also research how to design technologies that are inclusive and accessible to all users, and also “encourage competition” in the nascent industry, Facebook added in a blog post. Facebook has faced continued scrutiny on a wide range of internet issues, such as the spread of disinformation.
Also, today, Monday, September 27, Facebook said it had paused development on Instagram Kids, an app that would have provided age-appropriate content for kids under 13. U.S. lawmakers and advocacy groups have cited safety concerns and urged Facebook to drop the launch plans.
A Facebook executive will testify on Thursday, September 30 at a U.S. Senate committee hearing on the impact of its Instagram app on young users’ mental health.
Initial partners for Facebook’s new metaverse fund include Howard University in Washington D.C., which will research the history of diversity in the information technology industry and how it could shape opportunity in the metaverse.
In August this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told his employees about an ambitious new initiative, a plan that will take the future of the company far beyond its current project of building a set of connected social apps and some hardware to support them.
Zuckerberg said Facebook would strive to build a maximalist, interconnected set of experiences straight out of sci-fi film— a high-tech world known as the metaverse.
“What I think is most interesting is how these themes will come together into a bigger idea. Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life,” said Zuckerberg said. in a remote address to employees.
The metaverse is having a moment. Coined in Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel, the term refers to a convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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