Of all Meta’s current offerings, its ‘Horizon Worlds’ VR creation platform provides the most indicative view of its future Metaverse plans.
And starting this week, more people will be able to share that perspective, with Horizon Worlds is being launched for UK usersIn addition to the United States and Canada.
As shown in the video above, Horizon Worlds enables users to create their own virtual space, with a range of 3D objects and tools that they can use to create interactive environments.
Meta launched Horizon Worlds with all users in the US and Canada in December and is now expanding in the UK before opening access to all EU users next month.
Such as Meta:
“From the very beginning, we envisioned Horizon Worlds as a creator-friendly VR environment with top-notch social world-building tools. And by developing those tools and listening to and incorporating feedback from developers, that’s it. But we are always working to make it better. For example, last month we launched our first Resource Library, A collection of pre-made items that manufacturers can use at any time. Also, we are committed 10 million USD To help the creators remove their world from the earth.“
The Asset Library will play a major role in the next phase of Metaverse, helping meta brands create 3D models of their products, to showcase advanced e-commerce, which may be made available at Horizon Worlds for later use in user projects.
This will provide new promotional opportunities in this emerging digital space, which, as mentioned, gives a clear indication of what the metavers will look like, at least in the current view of the meta, as a consumer tool.
We’ve already seen some indications of the impact of marketing on this, with brands like Wendy creating their own, branded environment in Horizon Worlds, inviting users to engage with their virtual products and activations.
This, in turn, leads to Metaverse, where individuals and brands alike are able to create interactive spaces like Minecraft, where users can be completely immersed in VR – or possibly through other means – in their creation.
Although it is now fairly basic, it is in the early stages of development. Finally, as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed, Metavers will include a wide range of completely immersive and interactive environments, enabling you to create and explore all kinds of new worlds you’ve ever experienced.
We’re not even close to that in terms of fully functional, interactive, avatar-led engagement in these VR worlds. But in the end, Meta is heading in that direction, and if you want to get a taste of what Meta sees as the next evolution for brand pages, and Horizon Worlds is your best current indicator on this front.
But VR engagement also opens up new forms of harassment and abuse, in more confined and submerged areas. Another element that needs to be addressed meta.
On this front, Metao ‘has announced the addition.Voice mode‘In VR, which will enable users to choose whether they want to listen to other users in the VR environment.
Explained by Meta:
“[Voice mode] Allows people who are not on your friends list to choose how you listen, with the option of not listening to unwanted conversations. By default, you can hear all the users around in the same volume, but with voice mode, you can easily switch to garbled voices, where the voices of non-friends come in as incomprehensible, friendly words.“
As shown in the image above, when a user selects ‘Garbled Voice’, strangers will see an indicator that you can’t hear their space. Users will be able to change this setting at any time, but it also provides another security measure to help protect users in VR, where some annoying incidents have already occurred, even in the initial stages.
Late last year, A beta tester at Horizon Worlds reported that he was VR was grabbed by a strangerWhile others Experience ‘gang rape’ by male users In space, which he described as a ‘very real’ feeling.
These events prompted Meta to add a new ‘personal boundary’ feature, which enables users to keep others away from their avatars.
Meta has now added new pop-up alerts that are displayed to people behaving disruptively in VR space.
So there are measures to reduce the risk to some extent. But it looks like it could become a much bigger concern to move forward on the platform, and Meta needs to make sure it is fully resolved before implementing a comprehensive roll-out of its Metaverse push.
Will it really happen? Meta does not have an accurate history of dealing with such potential issues before major concerns arise, and it will not surprise anyone if Meta continues to expand its Metaverse Vision on anything else, including user safety.
Which, in some ways, seems to be already happening with the next expansion of Horizon Worlds – although Meta hopes that its evolving security tools will be enough to provide adequate protection for users in the virtual space.