Meta Provides Predictions for the Next Stage of Digital Connection

While Meta may not be referring to the metaverse as much as it was a few years back, it remains very much a focus, with the company looking to own the next stage of digital connection via VR, AR and expanded forms of virtual presence.

Which is underlined in a new blog post on the Meta Quest Blog, in which Meta outlines three predictions for technical transformation in 2024 and beyond.

And the metaverse is its first key point:

While the hype cycle has moved on from the metaverse to AI, we remain committed to both. Consumer interest in virtual and mixed reality has seen a significant uptick in recent years. Fitness and wellness are on the rise as compelling use cases, the Meta Quest app topped the charts of the App Store on Christmas Day, and Reality Labs recently passed $1 billion USD in revenue for the first time.

Indeed, the arrival of Apple’s Vision Pro has reignited interest in spatial computing, and provided a preview of what many expect to be the next iteration of digital interaction. And Meta’s looking to build on that, as a bridge to its broader metaverse experience, in which it’s already invested over $100 billion in developing and building the infrastructure that will bring the experience to life.

And logically, that investment does make sense.

The most obvious connector here is gaming worlds, and the way that kids now interact in what are essentially metaverse-like experiences. You can see the evolution happening in every massive online gaming platform, including Roblox and Fortnite, with each of these platforms now expanding beyond the basic in-game experience, and providing new variations on interaction built on top of the game engine.  

Fortnite game modes

As you can see in this example, these gaming worlds are adding in more and more interactive experiences, which are no longer confined to the core game mechanics, and offer different social experiences within gaming apps.

Younger users are increasingly using these platforms as their core social outlets, and as this cohort grows up, the logic of a metaverse, which leans into the same elements, makes a lot of sense.

It’s not going to happen overnight, but it is coming, and you can see the digital breadcrumbs that lead into this next stage. Which is what Meta is now building for.

Meta further notes that the technical capacity of VR models will enable all-new educational and professional use cases.

Meta also highlights the shift of AI processing from the cloud “to the edge and mobile devices”. Meta says that this will enable more personalized experiences, along with a reduction in latency.

“This move is already starting to take place with the arrival of Meta AI on Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses and the introduction of multimodal features in Early Access. Members of the Early Access program can look and ask with Meta AI, getting suggestions and information based on what they see. Translate a sign in a foreign language into English, find a new recipe using the ingredients on your counter, or caption the killer photo you just took – and do it all on the fly and hands-free.”

The evolution of technology will enable greater portability of large-scale computing tasks, which will then facilitate the next stage of AI connection, and using conversational assistants.

Finally, Meta notes the development of its messaging tools with more personalized elements as another key shift.

At Meta Connect 2023, we introduced AI studio, the platform that supports the creation of our AIs including our Meta AI personal assistant. In the future, developers will be able to build third-party AIs for our messaging services with our APIs. Businesses will be able to create AIs that reflect their brand values and improve customer service experiences.”

Conceptually, this will involve the creation of AI bots trained on brand-specific data sets, in order to provide more helpful, customized assistance, without the need for human operators.

Which definitely has a lot of potential, and as more and more people turn to messaging apps to interact, that could facilitate better customer service, at any time.

At a higher level, these are the main focus elements of Meta’s development push, and it’s interesting to note its more recent advances with these pillars in mind.

Basically, the vision is that the metaverse, paired with more customized, personalized experiences, powered by AI, will become the next stage of digital connection.

And while you may not see it yet, the signs are all there, and these are some of the most practical notes that Meta has provided on the key connectors to its future vision.


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