Meta Horizon Workroom

What’s On The Horizon For Meta’s First Virtual Ecosystem? | Meta Horizon Workrooms

After two years of private beta testing, Horizon World — Meta’s first VR Metaverse app — finally opened to the North American public in late 2021. Allowing public access was a big deal for Horizon World Meta (nee Facebook), as it signaled Mark Zuckerberg’s de facto entry point into the metaverse – the place around which he has now positioned his business model and himself.

Committed to moving forward.

Like many things under Zuckerberg’s watch, the Horizon series ( World, Places, Workroom ) hasn’t launched without a bit of turbulence.

From reported incidents of virtual “groping” to a difficult-to-use interface, it has so far been difficult for users to choose Meta’s first offering as their chosen metaverse platform.

What are some early disadvantages of the Horizon series?

Should they be passed off as normal blunders for an entry-level application into a new world, or are they big indicators that Meta is starting off on the wrong foot? let’s take a closer look.

1. Security Risks in Horizon World

If you’ve been reading the news, sexual harassment has become a growing concern in the growing Web3 space.

Numerous experts have begun to look into the security risks that an immersive, lifelike online experience can pose – with many leaders suggesting that the effects of sexual assault in VR could evoke reactions similar to those of a real-life, physical experience.

At the time of writing, chances are if you run a quick Google search, there have been reported incidents of virtual “groping” and harassment, with Horizon World likely to be the most popular example you’ll find in any search result.

The woman told Horizon World to be “virtually groped” inside the platform by other male users while running the beta test . Shortly after this meeting, Nina Jane Patel reported being “verbally and sexually assaulted” by other male avatars at Horizon Space .

“You are literally stepping into a 360-degree digital environment,” Patel explains when recounting his experience with . “Since virtual reality is designed to be as real as possible, it’s akin to inviting someone into your living room, so the violation feels much more intense than it would feel on a social media platform.”

Furthermore, Patel stressed that “sexual harassment and violence is a huge problem in the metaverse in its current state.” Since then many other women have reached out to the virtual ecosystem to report having and having similar experiences.

Upon further inspection by Meta’s team, Horizon’s Meta VP Vivek Sharma called these events “absolutely unfortunate”.

However, they also noted that both users failed to deploy the ‘Safe Zone’ – a built-in security feature that, when switched on, has the ability to prevent other users from touching or interacting with the avatar.

With that said, Sharma also noted the need to make these security features easier to find and more accessible for users. He added: “We want everyone at Horizon Space to have a positive experience, to easily find the security tools that can help them – and help us investigate and take action.”

Underage users have also been cited as at-risk subjects of Horizon ‘s world at large.

Children claiming to be as young as 9 years old were using each of the apps reported (registered users must be 18 and older), while several other reviews on the official Oculus site point to youths spoiling the experience for adults.

Includes complaints about Experts have noted that this dangerous mix of children and adults can lead Horizons to become a rendezvous for violent behavior.

Sarah Gardner, VP of External Affairs at Thorne (a non-profit tech startup focused on online child safety) highlights how sexual predators are “often among the first to arrive” at new online forums that attract children.

“They see an environment that is not well protected and [that] does not have a clear system of reporting. They will go there first to take advantage of the fact that it is an opportunity for them to abuse or babysit. Secure base.”

To combat harassment on the platform, the meta has since added an additional layer of protection for Horizon users: ” personal limits”, which will now be turned on by default in both worlds and realms.

Acting as an invisible virtual barrier around avatars, the “personal boundary” feature can prevent other users from getting too close , acting as a “two-foot radius of personal space”.

2. A Failed Metaverse Gig

During this year’s Super Bowl festivities, popular rock band Foo Fighters performed their first large virtual gig at the Meta Horizon venue .

Attendees were given a digital hot-seat, with cameras positioned 180-degrees around the stage and a “custom stage design, practical effects, sophisticated lighting programs and XR elements mixed into the concert scene.”

Gig attendees were also given the opportunity to socialize in real-time with other attendees, as well as the ability to don their avatars with limited edition Super Bowl attire.

However, if you were one of the lucky attendees of the concert, your review may have looked somewhat different.

Post-gig reports alleged that Horizon Venue suffered from a poor onboarding experience, system crashes and – believe it or not in this day and age – capacity issues.

Of the thousands of people who expressed interest in participating in the VR show, only 13,000 were actually able to enter.

Most online events allow people to enter a virtual queue before proceeding to the actual event (in most cases, this is usually at least 30 minutes before the start of the show).

This is done to reduce any impact that may be caused by an influx of too many users at once. However, Meta interestingly chose a different approach — one that didn’t allow people to access the advertised event of an 8 p.m.

PT start date. Essentially, the digital “lobby” crashed from the force of 61,000 people trying to enter the show at the same time.

Once again Vivek Sharma was forced to comment on the controversy – claiming that the “problems” were due to “unprecedented demand”.

He also said that more opportunities to watch the show would be made available to those who would eventually participate. I was unable to

However, despite the effort, this response was heavily criticized by Meta Quest users around the world – mainly due to the fact that the incident was well publicized and advertised during the most recent advertising campaign for the Super Bowl. .

3. Enter Workroom Fatigue

Recently, two of my colleagues tried to set up a virtual meeting with me on Horizon Workroom .

With each of us playing a new game called Meta Quest 2 at the head, we were all very excited to find out how we could carry out our weekly meetings in a Metaverse space .

However, after about 20 minutes of trying to join a room using our headsets, we finally decided to wrap things up and call it an afternoon.

Before that, though, we tried a number of options—such as setting up party calls inside the Quest 2’s built-in interface and configuring our headset to link to our Web browser.

Eventually, we grew tired of trying to figure out so many logistics for joining a virtual meeting (many of us are still recovering from Zoom fatigue, mind you).

If you’ve been able to launch and join Workroom successfully, you should be able to create a room for a team and allow other users to join virtually using their dedicated avatars.

Users who do not have Meta Quest 2 can also join via Web2 – via their web browser. Either way, meetings in Workroom should feel similar to real-life meetings: Any other avatar can sit next to you at a virtual table — and team members should have the ability to collaborate extensively on projects (eg that being able to share a big blackboard).

Other users have reported difficulty setting up an Experience Workroom .

For starters, users need to use their PC to create an account before being able to use the platform in Workroom VR – they already have a working Facebook account to use Meta Quest 2 must have.

Associating the headset with a Facebook account also requires additional steps, where users are prompted.

To enter a special code that can be viewed through VR. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s in addition to requiring you to download a companion app that will mirror the desktop in VR.

While we’ll likely see this onboarding process become more streamlined in the future, this long sequence of steps feels tiresome even to type — especially for those of us who’ve had a virtual day of back-to-back events.

Considered joining the meeting. Unless the program is a bit more tested and tried, it’s likely that most of us won’t find the time or reason to start it.

Even Web 2 platforms (such as Google Meet, Zoom, and Miro) still provide faster, more efficient web collaboration tools that get the job done.

4. Final Thoughts

Everyone has to start somewhere — and Meta should be no exception to this rule.

Facebook itself was not built in a day. Meta’s staff also seem receptive to any complaints raised – a sign that they are at least trying to improve in light of a difficult start to 2022 .

However, even the list of excuses behind these losses is questionable when they’re coming from a multi-billion dollar company that pledged $50 million to responsibly build the metaverse.

As of right now, the Horizon platform has hit a maximum of 300,000 users – that’s a 10x increase in about three months. But will we see this development going forward?

The early user growth figures may look positive – but many experts also agree that Meta needs to iron out a lot of kinks if it’s going to happen.



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