Facebook said Monday it will invest $50 million in a partnership with organizations to build a so-called “metaverse,” a digital world where people can use different devices such as virtual reality glasses to navigate and communicate in a virtual environment.
Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has invested heavily in virtual and augmented reality, developing devices such as Oculus VR headsets and working on augmented reality glasses and wrist technologies, and the company has come under fire for its impact on online security.
Facebook said the new XR program and research fund will invest money globally over two years to ensure metaverse technologies are “built in a comprehensive and empowering way.” The company said it plans to work with researchers in four areas, including data privacy and security, to allow users to get help if There was something they were seeing in the metaverse that made them uncomfortable.
And Facebook added in a blog post that it will also look at how to design technologies that are inclusive and available to all users, and also “encourage competition” in the emerging industry. Facebook has faced scrutiny for a wide range of internet issues, such as the spread of misinformation and the negative impact of social media on teens.