MC: Lauren, have you been to Metaverse?
LG: Yes, I think so too. I think one time I met with a Microsoft executive in the HoloLens 2 headset, and then I had to switch between the HP Reverb G2 VR headset, which was connected to some huge high-performance PC. I walked into my kitchen counter and thought, “I think I just hit Metaverse.” Is that voice okay?
MC: Yes, it sounds good to me. I’ll take it.
[Gadget Lab intro theme music plays]
MC: Hi, everybody.Welcome to Gadget Lab. I’m Michael Calore, senior editor of WIRED.
LG: This is Lauren Goode. I am a senior writer at WIRED.
MC: Today, online writer Peter Rubin also joined us. Hello, Peter. Welcome back to the show.
LG: Hey, Peter.
Peter Rubin: Hello everyone. Glad to be here again.
MC: Peter, we invite you because, yes, we are talking about metaverse, we are talking about VR, and you wrote a book about VR.It is called Future Existence: How virtual reality can change the connection, intimacy, and the limitations of daily life between people. How did I do it? This is the full title.
PR: You did very well. It is also available in paperback now, and it is supplemented all over the world. Therefore, even if you are listening to this content in Korea or anywhere else, you can get a copy.
LG: This does not sound very high-tech. Paperback book, what is that?
PR: I know. There are audio and e-books.
MC: Peter used to be the editor of WIRED, but even though he has left our virtual four-wall, he is still a regular writer of WIRED and a frequent visitor to the show, so I am glad to have you, man.
PR: Oh my god. It’s great to be back. Before we started rolling, I just told you that I missed our knees bumping together under the table and the too small recording studio we used to record this.
MC: And share our lung juice.
PR: And share, as Lauren said, our lung juice, it—
LG: I must thank Alan Henry of our WIRED team. He was the first person to say “lung juice”, and now I can hardly forget it.
PR: Even if this was created in 2019, it would be disgusting, but now it is almost unbearable.
MC: Double nausea. Well, we can record ourselves, but instead, we are recording virtually. We are all in our own space now, which is somewhat suitable for today, because we are talking about virtual reality in the workplace. It sounds boring, but please stay with me. A few days ago, Facebook showed off a new beta VR experience called Horizon Workrooms. It combines virtual reality and augmented reality technology, allowing you to interact with the real world and simulated environment at the same time.It sounds cool, but it’s used for meetings, so it’s kind of like Ready player one if Ready player one The whole process was carried out in an office meeting room with PowerPoint and whiteboards. But Facebook’s new VR experience is exciting because it merges the real world with the virtual world in novel and interesting ways.
This idea hints at a new type of human-computer interaction that supporters call meta-universe. Later in the show, we will return to the meta universe and we will discuss its exact meaning and why there is so much hype about this term. But before we get the metadata, I think we need to understand all of Facebook’s demos. So, Peter, you have entered the Zuckerverse. Tell us.