Launched at the end of 2021 in the United States and Canada, then in June 2022 in the United Kingdom, the Horizon Worlds platform, accessible via Meta Quest headsets, lands this Tuesday, August 16 in France and Spain.
For companies like Facebook, Microsoft or Google, the metaverse is the future of the Internet. Although it has its origins in science fiction, the first signs of the metaverse have been visible for a long time. The metaverse does not only refer to virtual reality, augmented reality, extended reality or cyberspace, but to all these concepts.
The concept has been in the news since October of last year when Facebook announced it was changing its name to Meta.
Although the first time the term appeared was in the book “The Virtual Samurai”, published in 1992 by the American Neal Stephenson. In this book, the author depicts a rich entrepreneur – a Mark Zuckerberg before his time? – who has created a parallel world, where virtual and augmented reality are mixed. And where the ultimate goal is to control the minds of users.
Since then, the technology has developed into a real metaverse: an online virtual world that includes augmented reality, virtual reality, avatars, holograms, videos and other means of communication.
Meta Facebook : What is the Horizon Worlds?
Meta continues to lay the groundwork for its metaverse. In this sense, the American firm intends to build on its first draft of its virtual parallel world, called Horizon Worlds. Launched at the end of 2021 in the United States and Canada, then in June 2022 in the United Kingdom, this social platform of virtual reality, accessible via Meta Quest headsets, arrives this Tuesday, August 16 in France and Spain.
It was Mark Zuckerberg who announced the news on Facebook, with an image showing his avatar and representations of the Eiffel Tower and the Sagrada Familia on Horizon Worlds. The boss of the Menlo Park firm also said that the platform would soon be deployed in other countries.
Last February, Meta had indicated that Horizon Worlds already had more than 300,000 users and more than 10,000 worlds. With this platform, the American firm can begin to test certain devices in the metaverse, such as the sale of virtual objects, in order to take advantage of a sector that should be worth 5,000 billion dollars by 2030, according to McKinsey. By 2026, one in four people will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse, according to Gartner.
And to make its metaverse a reality, Meta is not skimping on resources. As proof, its division dedicated to virtual reality and the metaverse, called Reality Labs, conceded a loss of $2.8 billion in the second quarter, after having already lost $13 billion in the previous 15 months. But these heavy losses are the price to pay in the eyes of Mark Zuckerberg, who has set the goal of hosting a billion people by 2030, the horizon at which this parallel world, considered the “future of the Internet”, could become profitable, according to the CEO of the social networking giant. For the time being, it is the soup to the face at Meta. And for good reason, the American giant announced at the end of July a quarterly turnover down for the first time in its history.