Meta’s insistence on creating an inclusive VR world — The Metaverse — has resulted in a large amount of criticism. While the buzzword of “Metaverse” is now used everywhere, Meta’s idea is ripped straight from the pages of dystopic, and iPod inventor Tony Fadell is far from a fan.
iPod Inventor slams Facebook Metaverse
In an interview with Wired, Fadell — known for his work on Apple’s iPod and iPhone — heavily criticised the industry’s Metaverse move. But why was the iPhone Inventor so against the emerging technology?
Simply put, Fadell believes that the idea of shoving humanity into a virtual world can only be a bad thing, killing human interactivity. Fadell said: “F**k The Metaverse.”
"In the virtual world, or the “meta world” — whatever you want to call it — I can't look into your eyes. I can't see your face to build trust and a real personal connection," he said.
“There's no dancing in the virtual world when people don't even have bodies. When I'm actually with someone, my hair stands up on the back of my neck, because my body has a sensor for that."
Additionally, the iPod inventor explained that the Metaverse rush is taking skilled people away from important research. Instead of helping to battle climate change or create technology that will help humanity, the truly skilled engineers are working on Metaverses.
“Social mobile stole all the brains and the talent away from the green problem. Now the climate crisis is worse than ever, and all those smart brains and all that money is devoted to solving a problem we don't have versus solving a problem we do,” he said.
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Is he right?
The idea of everything — work, play and relaxation — being done inside virtual reality is inherently dystopic. In that regard, Fadell is right that humanity’s inter-personality will be stripped away in The Metaverse.
Then again, the touch and senses that Fadell described will one day be a part of the virtual world. Companies are already working on tech that can simulate pain, or even Metaverse kissing.
However, that’s all it will ever be: a simulation. No amount of technology can replace real human touch and feel. The interactions will be there, but they’ll be hollow.