Meta said Friday that it is adding the ability to easily socialize in virtual reality with an update to its Quest 2 headset in another step toward the Metaverse.
“I’m here to announce to people the ability to hang out with you in social environments as soon as you put on your Quest 2 headset,” Zuckerberg said in a video.
The software update will open a door to the Horizon World virtual reality platform that Facebook-parent Meta opened to the public in North America late last year.
Zuckerberg said Meta is also working on allowing people to create their own virtual worlds, where they host gatherings of avatars.
Horizon Worlds is far from a fully realized metaverse, a future Internet where online experiences like chatting with a friend will finally be realized face-to-face thanks to VR headsets.
But the platform also lets people gather online with friends or others, play games, and immerse themselves in 360-degree video.
Facebook parent Meta earlier this year established minimum distances between users’ avatars in its virtual reality Horizon network, following reports of harassment, one of the thorny issues of its Metaverse vision.
The “Personal Boundary” function in the immersive platform puts a ring of space around the users’ digital proxy.
Facebook changed the name of its parent company to Meta in October, to emphasize its aim to move from the scandal-prone social media platform to a virtual reality vision for its future.
The firm’s metaverse push also includes tools for remote working, which boomed during the pandemic.
Facebook bought virtual reality headset maker Oculus in 2014.