Meta Metaverse Weekly: In Zuckerberg’s World, Hologram Workers Will Teleport In

Metaverse, Meta, Zuckerberg

Meta’s grand plans for the metaverse don’t really include Horizon Worlds.

But it’s where Mark Zuckerberg goes to take “dead-eyed” selfies like the one he posted two weeks ago, which essentially broke the internet with so many people laughing and pouring scorn on the very 2D, legless picture. The virtual reality (VR) platform is really more of a midway attraction cobbled together out of a launchpad for its six-year-old Oculus VR gaming headset, rather than a final project.

See also: Meta Metaverse Weekly: Zuckerberg Shows off Less Terrible Graphics

Still, publicity was bad enough to send Zuckerberg into damage control, posting an upgraded avatar image and going on the massively popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience on Aug. 25 for a long talk about Meta’s metaverse goals.

So, it may be a coincidence that the vice president of Horizon, Vivek Sharma, announced his departure on Aug. 26.

Learn more: Meta’s VP of Horizon Vivek Sharma Steps Down

As for his selfie, Zuckerberg told Rogan that while its avatars are “obviously not super realistic yet,” as Time reported, he is “not actually convinced that when we have photo-realistic avatars, people are going to prefer that to the expressive ones.”

As for his goals, Zuckerberg said he foresees a virtual future where people “teleport in the morning to the office and show up as a hologram” rather than moving to cities where the jobs are. That will “unlock a lot of economic opportunity for a lot of people,” he said.

It will also require far better technology, Zuckerberg added, noting that it won’t be cheap enough for mass consumption for some time. “I want to make it so the experiences we’re having aren’t just these passive things,” he told Rogan.

Concerts and Beyond

While Meta has been hosting concerts and VR experiences in its Horizon Worlds venues, it’s been going beyond music. On Sept. 9, it will debut “Surrounded,” an “immersive comedy” show that was filmed in a theater-in-the-round setting at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal.

The seven-comedian show will be an immersive experience for those with a Quest 2 headset, but it can also be seen on traditional Web2 via a Facebook or Instagram account. Still, it’s an interesting line-up that ranges from performers to eSports contests to the live launch of NASA’s historic first Artemis 1 rocket mission on Sept. 3.

The biggest metaverse performance of the week was clearly by rappers Eminem and Snoop Dogg, who followed up their Bored Ape Yacht Club avatar-fronted music video with a performance that transferred from the stage at MTV’s Video Music Awards to the Otherside metaverse under creation by Yuga Labs, issuer of the Bored Ape non-fungible token (NFT) collection.

Meanwhile, Meta dove deeper into the NFT space, adding the ability to display avatars and art from NFTs on Facebook and Instagram, allowing users to link them both simultaneously from a digital wallet.

Plenty of companies are setting up shop in various metaverses, doing marketing, selling virtual goods and — in some cases — even selling real-world items.

For instance, Taco Bell has entered Decentraland with a wedding package. The quick-service restaurant chain has apparently been doing this for five years at its Las Vegas Cantina wedding chapel, and is now taking it into VR.

Read more: Restaurant Roundup: Chili’s Rethinks Robo-Waiters; Taco Bell Dips Toe in Metaverse

“The virtually interactive nuptial celebration is slated for this fall and will allow two die-hard enthusiasts to take their Taco Bell love to the next level,” the company said in a release last week. “The couple will be surrounded by their loved ones during the romantic ceremony as they partake in traditional wedding elements such as musical entertainment, a first dance, food, toasts, the exchanging of vows and rings and more.”

While only invited guests can take part in the interactive part of the ceremony, it will be open to Decentraland users who wish to attend.

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