In a move previously thought impossible, Facebook/Meta appears to have figured out ways to make the Metaverse even creepier than its promotional video.
protocol Explains that several recent patents granted to social media megacorp offer some potential insight into more ways it plans to profit from the metaverse. They include information on what biometric data the company plans to collect, including eye tracking of pupil movements and body language.
Part of that seems to be a real effort to increase immersion. These patents describe a real virtual reality, and as such may be a bit more advanced than what we’ve seen so far. We’ve gotten a fairly early look at the haptic feedback gloves, but it looks like there’s more to come. There are devices to help track movement, including a new system of magnetic sensors around the torso. It might be really cool to see all this innovation coming into VR, but probably not by a company known for selling all that data.
Of course, there are other patents covering virtual stores and personalized advertising, which sounds more like the virtual world most businesses are seeing right now. It’s all about making money and advertising to users, not necessarily providing a good experience. Nick Clegg, who heads global affairs at Meta, has made no secret of what the company plans to do with the data.
“Obviously, you can do something like [to existing ad targeting systems] In the Metaverse — you’re not selling eye-tracking data to advertisers, but in order to understand whether people are interacting with ads, you need to be able to use the data to understand,” Meta’s Nick Clegg told Meta. Financial Times (by agreement).
I’m hoping someone at Meta is tracking my eyes now so they can get whipped from how hard I just rolled them. These are just patents, and the metaverse could end up changing in a completely different way than using any of them. However, as it stands, it really isn’t the place I want to hang out.