Meta announces 3D avatars in Brazil and investments in early stage startups – Época Negócios

Maureen Lau (Photo: clone)

Latin America Regional Vice President Maureen Lau made her video debut, in her avatar (Image: clone)

The Goal Today announced a series of developments to build and expand metaverse at Latin america. During MetaSummit, an online event for four company executives (via video), it was announced that 3D avatars will be launched in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Puerto Rico. “Avatars are an essential component for people to start exploring the virtual world,” said Vishal Shah, Global Vice President of Metaverse.

“We already have 2D avatars, but they don’t work well for immersive experiences,” Shah said. “Now users will feel present in space.” According to the executive, the avatars will also be available for virtual reality (VR) platforms other than Meta.

Without revealing the dates, the company said it intends to bring Horizon World to Latin America, a virtual world that is currently only available in the United States. According to Meta, users are already participating in building the space collectively. There’s, for example, a professional comedy club with open mic nights and a virtual music studio, as well as spaces to hang out with avatar friends and watch NBA games.

Facilitating access to the metaverse is one of the company’s biggest concerns. One move Meta plans to make is to make Horizon World available in a navigation browser, so that it can be accessed via a computer, tablet or smartphone, without the need for a VR headset at home. Horizon World can also be shared on Facebook and Instagram. In this way, access is cheaper and can be done by anyone with a smartphone in hand.

The company also announced that it is developing a new generation of headphones, citing weight, comfort and affordability as important points. There is also a plan – undated, for now – to bring the Quest2 – one of their headphone models – to Latin America.

Competitive advantage

At a conference, the regional vice president for Latin America, Maureen Lau, appeared first in the video with her avatar, and later only in person. Lau cemented the bet on the metaverse as the next technology revolution. “It’s the next evolution in social connectivity, an immersive and connected relationship where people can move from one platform to another and from the online world to the offline world,” he said.

It even compared the development of the metaverse to the growth of the smartphone app market in the late 2000s. “Whenever I see people questioning the validity of the metaverse, I think about the competitive advantage of companies that entered the app market back in 2007, it might still take 10 years. [o metaverso] It merges, but we have already started the journey, and companies that are entering now will have an advantage,” he said.

According to Lau, the metaverse will be the biggest opportunity for Latin American companies and creators since the Internet. By 2031, he says, it could account for 5% of the region’s GDP, and 2.8% of global GDP.

diversity

The concern for diversity within the metaverse was another topic addressed at the event. According to Meta, avatars already have 1 quintillion different set in apps, including skin tones, hair and clothing, and there will also be avatars with wheelchairs and hearing aids. Meta also states that the language barrier will not be an issue, as there will be translation tools for more than 100 languages.

We don’t want to leave any language or people behind,” said Maxine Williams, global vice president for diversity. Reinforced the company’s commitment to hiring people from diverse backgrounds to ensure that building the metaverse would be diverse ‘from the start’.

Message to the founders

Meta’s Vice President of New Product Experience (NPE), Ime Archibong, announced that the company will invest in early-stage startups in Latin America through the NPE Ignite Fund. In a direct message to the founders, he asked them to “apply for investments” through the NPE Ignite website. “If you have a small team and you are building a product that serves a community, that is very close to what we are looking for,” he said.

According to Archibong, Meta seeks projects that help local communities develop. “In this next era, the communities and people often underestimated by industry will be innovating. If the founders believe there are solutions to local problems and that we can help you scale, then contact us. Great innovation can come from Latin America.”

Among the companies that have already invested in the NPE region are American InWorld AI, a virtual persona development platform, Ami, a mental health startup based in Singapore, and OlaClick, a startup that helps restaurants process orders through WhatsApp, based in Lima, Peru.

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