Facebook Launches New App That Turns Virtual Meetings Into A Dystopian Nightmare

2021-08-19 15:57:45

It’s like Mark Zuckerberg got the absolute worst idea while reading “Ready Player One.”

Thanks to the newly normalized culture of remote work, Facebook on Thursday launched a test of Horizon Workrooms, a virtual reality workplace app in which users of the company’s Oculus Quest 2 headsets can hold meetings as cartoonish and creepily legless avatar versions of themselves.

A look at Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms virtual reality app.

The app also allows workers to collaborate with others using a whiteboard, stream what’s on their laptops and use their hands instead of remote controllers, among other features, according to Facebook’s corporate website.

 “We shouldn’t really have to physically be together to feel present, collaborate or brainstorm,” Zuckerberg said during a demo of the app for journalists, according to CNET, which was present for the demo and reviewed the app on its YouTube channel.

The app is part of the CEO’s vision of turning Facebook into a “metaverse,” a Silicon Valley buzzword that Zuckerberg described to The New Yorker earlier this month as “a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces.”

It’s “an embodied Internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at,” he told the magazine, adding that he believes the “metaverse” will be “the successor to the mobile Internet.”

Despite Zuckerberg’s high hopes for the app, people on Twitter weren’t thrilled about the tech tycoon’s idea of making virtual work meetings even more awkward — and rather nightmarish-looking — given workers’ various levels of competence with technology (hello, lawyer who got stuck in kitten mode on Zoom).

To read people’s very funny remarks about the new app, just scroll down — no pricey headset needed.

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