Connect with us

OTHER

Is the Metaverse Really the Future of Work?

Published

on

is-the-metaverse-really-the-future-of-work?

According to Mark Zuckerberg, the “metaverse” – which the Meta founder describes as “an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content – you are in it” – will radically change our lives.

So far, Meta’s main metaverse product is a virtual reality playground called Horizon Worlds. When Zuckerberg announced his company’s metaverse push in October 2021, the prevailing sentiment was that it was something nobody had asked for, nor particularly wanted.

Many of us wondered what people would actually do in this new online realm. Last week, amid announcements of new hardware, software, and business deals, Zuckerberg presented an answer: the thing people will do in the metaverse is work.

But who is this for?

What are the implications of using these new technologies in the workplace? And will it all be as rosy as Meta promises? The future of work? The centrepiece of last week’s Meta Connect event was the announcement of the Quest Pro headset for virtual and augmented reality. Costing $1,499 (roughly Rs. 1,24,000), the device has new features including the ability to track the user’s eyes and face.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

The Quest Pro will also use outward-facing cameras to let users see the real world around them (with digital add-ons).

Meta’s presentation showed this function in use for work. It depicted a user sitting among several large virtual screens – what it has previously dubbed “Infinite Office”. As Meta technical chief Andrew Bosworth put it, “Eventually, we think the Quest could be the only monitor you’ll need.” Meta also announced it is working with Microsoft to make available virtual versions of business software such as Office and Teams. These will be incorporated into Horizon Workrooms virtual office platform, which has been widely ridiculed for its low-quality graphics and floating, legless avatars.

See also  Elon Musk Said to Have Assured EU Chief to Abide by Online Content Policing Rules for Twitter

The Microsoft approach

The partnership may well provide significant benefit for both companies.

Microsoft’s own mixed-reality headset, the HoloLens, has seen limited adoption. Meta dominates the augmented and reality markets, so it makes sense for Microsoft to try to hitch a ride on Meta’s efforts.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

For Meta, its project may gain credibility by association with Microsoft’s long history of producing trusted business software. Partnerships with other businesses in the tech sector and beyond are a major way that Meta seeks to materialise its metaverse ambitions.

Microsoft also represents an alternative approach to making a product successful. While several decades of efforts to sell VR technology to consumers have had limited success, Microsoft became a household name by selling to businesses and other enterprises.

By focusing on an enterprise market, firms can normalise emerging technologies in society. They might not be things that consumers want to use, but rather things that workers are forced to use.

Recent implementations of Microsoft’s Teams software in industry and government across Australia offer models for how the metaverse may arrive in offices.

Enhanced bossware

Advertisement
free widgets for website

While proponents of work in the metaverse envisage a future in which technologies like AR and VR are frictionlessly incorporated into our work lives, bringing about prosperity and efficiency, there are a number of areas of concern.

For one, technologies like VR and AR threaten to institute new forms of worker surveillance and control. The rise of remote work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic led to a boom in “bossware” – software for employers to monitor every move of their remote workers.

See also  Meta Bulits AI That Translates Spoken-Only Language Under Universal Speech Translator Project

Technologies like VR and AR – which rely on the capture and processing of vast amounts of data about users and their environments to function – could well intensify such a dynamic.

Meta says such data will remain “on device”. However, recent research shows third-party Quest apps have been able to access and use more data than they strictly need.

Privacy and safety

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Developers are learning, and worried, about the privacy and safety implications of virtual and augmented reality devices and platforms.

In experimental settings, VR data are already used to track and measure biometric information about users with a high degree of accuracy. VR data also have been used to measure things like attention.

In a future where work happens in the metaverse, it’s not hard to imagine how things like gaze-tracking data might be used to determine the outcome of your next promotion. Or to imagine work spaces where certain activities are “programmed out”, such as anything deemed “unproductive”, or even things like union organising.

Microsoft’s 365 platform already monitors similar metrics about digital work processes – you can view your own here, if your organisation subscribes. Microsoft 365’s entrance to VR spaces will offer it plenty of new data to be analysed to describe your work habits.

Moderating content and behaviour in virtual spaces may also be an issue, which could lead to discrimination and inequity. Meta has so far given little in the way of concrete protections for its users amid increasing claims of harassment.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Earlier this year, a report by consumer advocacy group SumOfUs found many users in Horizon Worlds have been encouraged to turn off safety features, such as “personal safety bubbles”, by other users.

See also  Meta to Freeze Hiring to Cut Costs Following First Quarterly Revenue Drop, Plunging Profit: Report

The use of safety features in workplaces may likewise be seen as antisocial, or as not part of “the team”. This could have negative impacts for already marginalised workers.


Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

OTHER

What Are WhatsApp Polls and How Do You Use Them? All You Need to Know

Published

on

By

what-are-whatsapp-polls-and-how-do-you-use-them?-all-you-need-to-know

WhatsApp’s new features and updates which have rolled out over the past few months have made the messaging experience much better. Now, WhatsApp users can even create polls in personal and group chats to see what their friends and contacts think. Both iOS and Android users can use this feature. A poll could help take the opinions of group members on any topic or idea, or could be useful for making plans quickly. Just like your chats, the responses you send to a poll question will be protected by end-to-end encryption. At the moment, Telegram and Facebook Messenger allow group polls. You can easily start using this new WhatsApp feature on your smartphone.

Here is How to Create a WhatsApp Poll

Step 1: Update WhatsApp to the latest version

Step 2: Open the private or group chat in which you want to create a poll

Step 3: For Android, tap on the paper clip icon at the bottom of the screen. For iOS, select the plus (+) icon at the bottom of the screen.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Step 4: Select ‘Poll’

Step 5: Type the question you want to ask, along with response options

Step 6: Finally, tap on ‘Send’ to share the poll

Up to twelve response options can be offered to recipients for each poll, and these are not time-bound. Users can also see the responses selected by others by tapping on ‘View votes’.

The Meta-owned messaging app has recently worked on several updates, rolling out new tools including the Call Link feature, the ability to message yourself, and Companion Mode. While some of these new features are not available to all users at the moment, WhatsApp does plan to make them accessible to everyone in the coming days. The most recent and talked-about feature apart from WhatsApp polls is Communities. These allow users to have separate groups under one “Community” to organize large conversations.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

“With Communities, we’re aiming to raise the bar for how organizations communicate with a level of privacy and security not found anywhere else. The alternatives available today require trusting apps or software companies with a copy of their messages – and we think they deserve the higher level of security provided by end-to-end encryption,” stated WhatsApp in a blog post.

See also  Twitter Unmention Feature to Remove Yourself From Tags Rolling Out Now
Continue Reading

OTHER

Elon Musk Calls Donald Trump’s Twitter Ban ‘Grave Mistake’, Condemns Violence

Published

on

By

elon-musk-calls-donald-trump’s-twitter-ban-‘grave-mistake’,-condemns-violence

Twitter’s ban on then President Donald Trump after January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by his supporters was a “grave mistake” that had to be corrected, Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Friday, although he also stated that incitement to violence would continue to be prohibited on Twitter.

“I’m fine with Trump not tweeting. The important thing is that Twitter correct a grave mistake in banning his account, despite no violation of the law or terms of service,” Musk said in a tweet. “Deplatforming a sitting President undermined public trust in Twitter for half of America.”

Last week, Musk announced the reactivation of Trump’s account after a slim majority voted in a Twitter poll in favor of reinstating Trump, who said, however, that he had no interest in returning to Twitter. He added he would stick with his own social media site Truth Social, the app developed by Trump Media & Technology Group.

Republican Trump, who 10 days ago announced he was running for election again in 2024, was banned on January 8, 2021, from Twitter under its previous owners.

At the time, Twitter said it permanently suspended him because of the risk of further incitement of violence following the storming of the Capitol. The results of the November 2020 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden were being certified by lawmakers when the Capitol was attacked after weeks of false claims by Trump that he had won.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Trump repeatedly used Twitter and other sites to falsely claim there had been widespread voter fraud, and had urged supporters to march on the Capitol in Washington to protest.

See also  Elon Musk Polls Users on 'General Amnesty' for Suspended Twitter Accounts

The attack is being investigated by US prosecutors and a congressional committee.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday on Musk’s statement that Trump did not violate any Twitter terms of service when his account was suspended.

Earlier on Friday, Musk tweeted that calling for violence or incitement to violence on Twitter would result in suspension, after saying on Thursday that Twitter would provide a “general amnesty” to suspended accounts that had not broken the law or engaged in spam.

Replying to a tweet, Musk said it was “very concerning” that Twitter had taken no action earlier to remove some accounts related to the far-left Antifa movement. In response to another tweet asking if Musk considered the statement “trans people deserve to die” as worthy of suspension from the platform, the billionaire said: “Absolutely”.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Change and chaos have marked Musk’s first few weeks as Twitter’s owner. He has fired top managers and it was announced that senior officials in charge of security and privacy had quit.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Continue Reading

OTHER

WhatsApp Reportedly Testing Voice Status Update for iOS Beta: All Details

Published

on

By

whatsapp-reportedly-testing-voice-status-update-for-ios-beta:-all-details

WhatsApp, the Meta-owned instant messaging app, is reportedly working on a feature that will let iOS users share voice notes in their status updates. As of now, the users can only share pictures, videos and links in their WhatsApp status. However, once the new feature will be rolled out, WhatsApp users on iOS will be reportedly able to share voice notes or voice clips as well in their status updates on the app. According to the report, the messaging platform is testing the feature on iOS Beta for an upcoming update.

According to a report by WhatsApp development tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp users on iOS will be able to share a voice note of up to 30 seconds alongside text in their status updates, similar to what they can currently do in a WhatsApp chat.

The report has also shared a screengrab of the same, hinting at the upcoming feature, which shows a microphone icon on the bottom of the text status.

WhatsApp on iOS users will be required to click on the microphone icon and record their voice to upload it as their status update. They can even add text to it, if needed. It is worth noting that the voice status updates will only be shared with the people selected in the privacy settings. Also, these voice notes will always be end-to-end encrypted.

Not only iOS, but this ability is said to be also being tested in WhatsApp beta for Android’s upcoming update. As of now, this feature is still under development, so it would be very early to say anything.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Meanwhile, WhatsApp recently rolled out WhatsApp Polls to users on both Android and iOS. The Polls feature was introduced alongside ‘Communities’, a feature that allows users to have separate groups under one umbrella to organise group conversations. WhatsApp Polls lets users create polls within the group with the ability to vote. Facebook Messenger and Telegram currently allow users to add group polls. WhatsApp’s poll feature will be protected by end-to-end encryption.

See also  Elon Musk Claims Engagement on Twitter Dropped in Recent Weeks, Ahead of Upcoming Court Battle

Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Continue Reading

Trending