We still have to get used to Facebook’s, Instagram’s, Whatsapp’s, and Oculus’ parent company’s new Meta name… and Mark Zuckerberg will get rid of the Oculus brand altogether!
Andrew Bosworth, Facebook Reality Labs’ vice president (this is the department that focuses on virtual and augmented reality, or extended reality for short), wrote about the Oculus brand’s death on Facebook: We’re simplifying our brand architecture and shifting away from the Oculus brand for our hardware. Starting in early 2022, you’ll begin to see the shift from Oculus Quest from Facebook to Meta Quest and Oculus App to Meta Quest App over time.
We’ll also expand Meta Horizon as the brand encompassing all of our first-party immersive social experiences. You’ve seen this already with Horizon Workrooms and Horizon Worlds. Soon you’ll see us shift from Oculus to Horizon Home, Horizon Venues, Horizon Friends, and Horizon Profile,” Bosworth says. Facebook Reality Labs is also changing its name to Reality Labs to “better make the connection that our org is building the technology that will enable the future metaverse,” Bosworth claims. His team is also “working on new ways to log into Quest that won’t require a Facebook account, landing sometime next year.” (We wrote about the slow phasing out of Facebook requisitions yesterday.)
John Carmack, the consultant (and former chief technological boss) of Oculus, talked at the Facebook Connect conference, and the father of the FPS genre was somewhat critical of the metaverse. Still, he prefaced it all by saying he does care about it. “But that leaves many people pretty surprised to find out that I have been pretty actively arguing against every single metaverse effort that we have tried to spin up internally in the company, from even pre-acquisition times.
I want it to exist, but I have pretty good reasons to believe that setting out to build the metaverse is not the best way to wind up with the metaverse. [The metaverse is] a honeypot trap for architecture astronauts,” Carmack said, explaining that “architecture astronaut” is his “chidingly pejorative term for a class of programmers or designers who only want to talk about things from the highest level.”
They only want to talk about things in the broadest of concepts with no concern for the logistical nuts and bolts of how those general ideas would be executed. “I want to tear my hair out at that because that’s so not the things that are important when you’re building something, but here we are. Mark Zuckerberg has decided that now’s the time to make the metaverse. So enormous wheels are turning, and resources are flowing.
The efforts will be made, so the big challenge now is to try to take all of this energy and make sure it goes to something positive, and we’re able to build something that has real near-term user value. Because I worry that we could spend years and thousands of people possibly, and wind up with things that didn’t contribute all that much to the ways people are using the devices and hardware today,” Carmack added.
So there are already critical voices around Meta…