Meta’s metaverse will be so inclusive that it will offer more than 1 quintillion ways to differentiate your Meta Avatar’s look.
The metaverse is “a whole new frontier, and we’re going to build in equity from the beginning,” Williams said. Those avatar attributes will cover everything “from skin tones to facial shapes and assistive devices, like hearing aids, wheelchairs and more so that everyone can feel represented and included.
“We’re collaborating with diverse companies, developers, experts and policymakers to build the metaverse — the next generation of digital experiences — with diversity, equity and inclusion from the start.”
Needless to say, the accompanying announcement video took place largely in Horizon Worlds, Meta’s fledgling mini-metaverse growing from its Oculus Quest 3D headset’s virtual gaming environment.
“There’s no replacement for being there in person, but we spend a lot of time, a lot of our day in digital environments, whether that’s for work, or for entertainment,” Meta Vice President of Metaverse Vishal Shah told her. “What we’re trying to do with our metaverse vision here is to make those digital experiences that much better.”
Among other things, Shah said, “We want you to have a choice about how you show up.”
Which kind of suggests we’ll all be a lot fitter and more attractive — and possibly even have legs. However, Shah did put a timeframe on Meta’s plans, noting that “the metaverse is 10, even 15 years into the future.”
What About Fairness?
One the equity front, a small, 12-year-old alternate reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology company, MetaX LLC, has sued Meta, saying that it goes by “Meta” in its branding and alleging that it “has been crushed by Facebook’s flagrant, unlawful conduct” in a lawsuit.
“On October 28, 2021, Facebook seized our META mark and name, which we put our blood, sweat, and tears into building for over twelve years,” CEO Justin Bologino said in a tweet on July 19. “Today, after eight months of trying to negotiate with Facebook in good faith to no avail, we were left with no choice but to file a lawsuit against them.”
Bologino also alleged that the social media giant infringed its trademarks “and engaged in egregious acts of unfair competition.”
On October 28, 2021, Facebook seized our META mark and name, which we put our blood, sweat, and tears into building for over twelve years.
— 🟣 FOUNDER + CEO of META® (@jbolognino) July 19, 2022
Saying the lawsuit is bigger than MetaX, Bologino talked of the need to protect innovation and intellectual property “as we evolve towards a more equitable digital and social future.”
While he added that the lawsuit “will have major implications for the protection of intellectual property rights as the Web2 and Web3 ecosystems evolve,” it was hard not to see a foregone conclusion.
After all, you may have noticed that Bologino’s tweet ends at “left with no cho…” and then directs users to a longer statement — on Meta-owned Instagram.
Elsewhere in the Metaverse
Yuga Labs, creators of the mindbogglingly overpriced Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) avatars, crushed Ethereum back in May when it dropped 55,000 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that gave people the right to buy a “plot” of virtual land in its barely announced metaverse project, Otherside.
To be clear, the $5,800 NFTs did not represent an actual piece of territory, but only the right to buy one.
Well, on July 16, Yuga Labs gave 4,300 “voyagers” a sneak peek of its virtual planet of the apes, which will initially be open only to NFT landowners. Apparently the developers weren’t monkeying around, as the price of Yuga’s native token, ApeCoin — which will be the official currency of its metaverse — jumped almost 23%, Cointelegraph said.
Which really isn’t all that impressive, as the actual sale itself was so slammed by would-be buyers that the Ethereum blockchain didn’t just slow, it virtually stopped. And transaction fees — which were called unsustainable when they hit $10 and $100 — spiked as high as $10,000. That’s not a typo.
One thing that it did is make it clear that Ethereum, with its 12-13 transactions per second top speed, was showing its age. Fortunately, Ethereum 2.0, with its promised environmentally friendly 100,000 TPS scalability, is on track to debut next year.
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