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Watch: WSJ Reporter Spends A Full 24 Hours Living In The Metaverse
By Mikelle Leow, 15 Nov 2021
Photo 234396309 © Ifeelstock | Dreamstime.com
Prominent figures in Big Tech like Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg have hyped the growing metaverse as the next frontier of everyday interactions. To see how this transition might look, Wall Street Journal senior personal tech columnist Joanna Stern spent an entire day in this unfamiliar world, or at least the infancy of it.
Locked in a hotel room, Stern’s only gateway beyond its four walls was through her virtual-reality headset, which she’d only remove during meals or to go to the bathroom. For 24 hours, she’d work, play, and hang out through digital clones to find out if our lives would be better for it.
As it turns out, even if you are ready to enter this realm, it’s not prepared for you just yet. The companies that are helping to build the metaverse, including Meta (formerly Facebook) and Microsoft, might argue that the metaverse isn’t here yet. As we speak, it’s essentially virtual reality; plus the need for clunky headgear makes the experience feel less natural.
Stern started out with gaming, since it’s the most sophisticated aspect in virtual reality currently. She then moved on to social settings, ordering wine in a bar where she was told “everything you want” could be ordered.
Back-to-back work meetings in this so-called metaverse meant she’d have to keep switching avatars. Also, everyone in the virtual space floats around without legs because cameras only track the upper body, though Spatial co-founder Anand Agarawala—who was depicted to be legless too—assured her at an outing to a 3D campsite that “legs are coming, coming soon.”
The parts that shone from the fantastical touches of virtual reality came during rest and workouts. Immersive meditation guides made it easy to relax and fall asleep, while the surreal surroundings and extensive possibilities of virtual fitness sessions helped gamify exercise. “I got so into it I lost track of time,” said Stern.
Although the environments and avatars were too cartoony to be convincing, “my presence in it and the presence of all these other people felt really real,” Stern said.
Remember and cherish this moment of still being able to observe this future from a distance.
[via Digg and Wall Street Journal, cover photo 234396309 © Ifeelstock | Dreamstime.com]
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