CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Virtual reality technology continues to improve and has become more prevalent over the years. Now, large tech companies are looking to take virtual reality to the next level, as they build what many are calling “the new internet.”
Connecting you to the people, places and things you love most, no matter where they are.
“The metaverse,” Lori Moylan, the public policy manager for Meta, said. “It’ll be a series of, whether it’s virtual reality or augmented reality experiences, you know, a really immersive internet where you can feel even more connected to the people and the things that you love.”
The technology, loosely called the “metaverse.” Facebook is singing on by officially changing its parent company name to Meta.
They say the metaverse is the next evolution of social connection.
“We really want to make sure our role in that is making sure that people can safely,” Moylan said. “And in fun and exciting ways, connect with the people and the businesses and ideas that they love. And have it just right at their fingertips.”
But, how does someone enter into this new world?
“Right now,” Moylan said. “The metaverse exists in like virtual reality headsets and so, that’s the best way to get a feel for what the technology is like.”
One person in the Lowcountry who is introducing people to the metaverse is Dave Ingram.
“To understand the metaverse,” Ingram said, “you’ll hear a lot of people say you have to experience it. So, something I’ve been keen to do for probably five or six years now is make sure I get as many people into a headset as I can. You have to put it on. You have to feel what it’s like to stick something on your head and look around and you’re just somewhere completely different.”
Ingram hosts quarterly meetups inside the Charleston Tech Center.
“I just looked at what was happening here and wanted to see people come together around this particular niche and nobody else was doing it,” he said. “So, I started pulling that together and we’ve had a really great response.”
News 2’s Kevon DuPree had a chance to try on a virtual reality headset for the first time and he said it was quite the experience.
“That level of immersion is the type of step forward in technology that I think,” Ingram said. “Once you start to understand some of the potential of it, it becomes really powerful. Virtual reality can help us to have a much deeper, social interaction in a digital form. To be able to feel like I’m standing in front of people, wave to them, talk to them, move around, even have meetups in a virtual reality space. It’s a step forward, I think, in a lot of ways that we do things digitally.”
The metaverse doesn’t fully exist yet, but there are basic building blocks already in place and several companies are investing billions of dollars to bring this new world to life.