December 1, 2023

This is likely one of the most insanely cool tech demonstrations I’ve ever seen.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been on the podcast prepare currently. The manager simply got here off the stage at Meta Join 2023, the corporate’s annual developer convention. On the occasion, the corporate introduced the Meta Quest 3 mixed-reality headset, the subsequent technology of its Good Glasses with Ray-Ban, and a slew of updates with AI, together with a brand new Meta assistant and 28 AI characters for customers to work together with on Fb, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Zuckerberg joined The Verge’s Alex Heath on the Decoder podcast to speak about the entire new bulletins, however that interview — pretty much as good and fascinating as it’s — was in the true world and filmed. That may make sense in a second, I promise. If you wish to try that interview, although, you may watch it on YouTube beneath. It’s a extremely insightful interview (good job, Alex) and even touches on that Elon Musk combat:

Nevertheless, the extra fascinating interview is the one which Zuckerberg did with Lex Fridman — and it doesn’t should do with the content material of the interview in any respect, however every little thing to do with WHERE they did the interview. For this specific interview, Fridman joined Zuckerberg within the Metaverse to speak about the entire firm’s AR and VR ambitions. Nevertheless, as an alternative of being a cartoonish model of themselves, they each seem as photorealistic variations of themselves.

You possibly can watch the interview in all of its Metaverse glory beneath:

The response from Fridman was evident. The host was fairly overwhelmed with how reasonable the expertise felt. Whereas it may be powerful to discern precisely what the expertise is like when taking a look at a 2D display, Fridman talked about how unbelievable the expertise felt by merely taking a look at Zuckerberg and, regardless of them being far-off from one another, feeling his presence proper in entrance of him. He additionally famous how exact the expressiveness got here throughout, enabling him to learn Zuckerberg’s physique language. He really mentioned, “I’m already forgetting that you just’re not actual.”

Talking of our bodies, they two didn’t have any when speaking with one another. Zuckerberg mentioned that was a more durable problem that they nonetheless want to resolve (very similar to they took years to carry legs to avatars in Meta Horizon Worlds), however that after they do, individuals may do issues collectively within the Metaverse whereas wanting totally like themselves. That’s an unbelievable proposition if the corporate can really pull it off.

Picture supply: Lex Friedman

Zuckerberg says that this future remains to be a minimum of three years away, however that the corporate continues to work on it. For those who’re trying to do a scan of your self and look as actual as Fridman and Zuckerberg, you’re out of luck proper now. That requires a complete scan with customized tools. Nevertheless, the corporate hopes that, sooner or later, you would possibly be capable of obtain such a scan utilizing one thing so simple as your smartphone — one thing it really confirmed a demo of at Meta Join 2022. Apple is already making an attempt to do a model of this with its upcoming Imaginative and prescient Professional headset and an iPhone.

Even watching this interview on my tv, I used to be blown away at how actual it seemed. I modified the screenshot I took for the thumbnail of this text as a result of the screenshot of simply the 2 of them seemed too reasonable to focus on the truth that they weren’t. It’s a formidable expertise, and if Meta can really carry it to the lots, it may enhance its use instances.

Possibly all of us will find yourself within the Metaverse in spite of everything.