Tech CEO Phil Libin put on the Oculus VR headset to try Meta’s first metaverse device He wanted to make sure it wasn’t horrible.
“I had a very, very strong feeling that it would suck, but I went into it with as much hope as possible that I would be pleasantly surprised,” Libin stated during an interview for Insider.
The two employees of the videoconferencing firm Mmhmm which is his the CEO, were testing the Meta Horizon Workrooms product. Horizon Workrooms lets people use VR headsets to work in virtual meetings within the metaverse.
Libin claimed that his gut instinct was right. “It was only tolerable for a few minutes,” Libin told reporters.
Libin believes using virtual reality to conduct meetings isn’t as appealing as more familiar technology like Zoom which allows users are able to do things in real life such as drinking a cup of coffee. “Can’t do that with a giant plastic thing on my face without spilling hot coffee all over myself,” Libin stated.
The term “metaverse” is borrowed from science fiction and is a reference to a new web accessible by immersive technology, such as virtual reality and augmented reality headsets. The concept has been promoted in specifically through Mark Zuckerberg, who changed the name of Facebook Facebook in October as Meta on October 1st.
In its fourth-quarter earnings release on Wednesday, Meta said its new metaverse business suffered losses of 10 billion dollars and its customer base decreased to the lowest level in history. Meta stock plunged 26.4 percent on Thursday, taking around $240 billion from its valuation, in the biggest one-day loss in US corporate history..
Libin has been previously dissident of the hype that surrounds the metaverse. In an interview with a podcast host last month Libin contrasted the hype with the propaganda of communists that he was exposed to as a young man within the ex Soviet Union.
He’s still not convinced. He explains that the metaverse vision that is shared by Meta – one that is the “interconnected 3D world that we experience for many hours a day, both for fun and for work primarily through VR” It is said that “that package of things is godawful.”
“It’s an old idea,” Libin stated to Insider. “It’s uncreative, it’s been tried many, many times over the past four decades and it’s never worked.”
The metaverse’s advocates believe that we’ll need to wait a bit to discover the full potential of it, Libin said, but Libin believes that’s not how the best technology operates.
“I think great technology starts out being primitive, but it starts out being great immediately,” he stated. In time, he explained that great technology becomes “more polished and more mature and more sophisticated.”
He gave an instance of early video game consoles and his first purchase from Amazon in the mid-nineties.
“It was my very first ever e-commerce transaction — went to the Amazon website, and Amazon in the mid-nineties was super primitive. It was like a text-based site all you could do is buy books from it. And it didn’t have one-click checkout: it was very, very basic. But I bought a couple of books and I remember understanding at that point, ‘this is amazing.'”
Concerning Horizon Workrooms, Libin said: “It’s not gonna get better because it started bad. It started stupid. It can get more sophisticated, but it’ll just be more sophisticated – but still bad.”