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Facebook's metaverse is key to its survival strategy – Quartz

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Like a Thanos snap, the power of the Facebook universe seems to be slowly fading away into dust before our very eyes. So in response, the company is working on building a new one, specifically, a metaverse. 
This week, Facebook will invite the public inside via its Facebook Connect event, dedicated to its efforts in the realm of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality, two elements of its new metaverse strategy. But the event will be held in the shadow of ongoing controversies related to a new whistleblower who emerged on Oct. 22, joining the criticisms lodged against the company by former employee Frances Haugen earlier this month. 
The negative spotlight on Facebook has been so intense that it’s discussed changing its name, in hopes of shedding the dinged-up image its brand and repositioning the company with an eye to its future.
Both VR and AR are a part of Facebook’s attempt to completely transform how the public views its company. The aim is to shed the confines of social media and remake Facebook—new name included—as a metaverse company focused on immersive experiences that capture your attention habits more accurately than any laptop or smartphone could.
“We believe that this is going to be the successor to the mobile Internet,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a company earnings call months ago. “You’re going to be able to access the metaverse from all different devices and different levels of fidelity from apps on phones and PCs to immersive virtual and augmented reality devices.”
Facebook may reveal its new moniker during its upcoming Connect event. And along with a potential new name may also come a more mainstream-friendly approach to VR, based on a series of newly leaked images.

“Excited to get an early look at some of the technologies that will underpin the metaverse,” Andrew Bosworth, Facebook AR and VR chief and newly minted chief technology officer, said Oct. 13 via Twitter. “We work on several prototype headsets to prove out concepts, this is one of them. Kind of. It’s a long story.” 
The Twitter post from Bosworth included an image of him wearing a slicker, more futuristic version of the company’s wireless VR headset. Speculation about the image immediately ramped up that it might be the long-rumored Oculus Quest Pro, or Oculus Quest 3. He quickly posted another photo of himself wearing a clunkier prototype VR headset. Still, the first image stuck in the minds of industry watchers.
Now, several new tutorial videos posted by Twitter user Bastian (who credits someone named Samulia for unearthing the videos) reveal what appear to be new Oculus tutorial animations of users wearing a VR headset that looks a lot like the one worn by Bosworth weeks ago. 
If accurate, the newly designed VR headset would be a major aesthetic leap forward for the company’s Oculus VR division tasked with moving headsets from the nerd outlier category to something most mainstream users would feel more comfortable and somewhat stylish wearing. A move toward a more style-centric design would also dovetail perfectly with Facebook’s new Ray-Ban Stories smartglasses, which are being framed by the company as an appetizer to fully AR-enabled Facebook smartglasses in the future. 
The many problems Facebook faces now transcend any one issue. At this point, Zuckerberg and his team need to reframe the narrative with a complete refresh. Luckily, for Zuckerberg, bending reality is exactly what VR and AR are good for. The only question will be if users are ready to live in this new metaverse powered by the organizational DNA of Facebook and all its deep bruises.
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Facebook parent Meta launches startup accelerator with India’s IT ministry in metaverse push – TechCrunch

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Meta Platforms is looking at India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem as it bolsters its bet on the metaverse. The social juggernaut has partnered with the Indian IT Ministry’s startup hub to launch an accelerator in the country to broaden innovation in emerging technologies, including augmented reality and virtual reality, officials said Tuesday.
MeitY Startup Hub and Meta’s effort, called XR Startup Program, will work with 40 early-stage startups and help them in research and development and developing workable products and services. Each startup will also receive a grant of over $25,000, the American giant said.
The program, supported by Meta’s $50 million XR Programs and Research Fund, will initially hand pick 80 startups to attend a bootcamp. It will also help startups with finding customers, inking relationships and raising funds, Meta said.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said the program is especially aimed at helping encourage technology innovation in smaller cities and towns.
The XR Startup Program is the latest of Meta’s growing participation in the South Asian market’s upskilling efforts. The firm, whose Facebook and WhatsApp services identify India as their largest market by users, partnered with Central Board of Secondary Education, a government body that oversees education in private and public schools in the country, to launch a certified curriculum on digital safety and online well-being, and augmented reality for students and educators in the country.
The program — to be implemented by four Indian institutions, including IIT Delhi — will also host a “grand challenge” for innovation in categories including education, healthcare, entertainment, agritech, climate action, sustainability and tourism, the American giant said.
“India will play a pivotal role in defining future technologies. Decisions and investments made here in India now shape global discussions on how technology can deliver more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people. It is critical that we help to create an ecosystem that will enable India’s tech startups and innovators to build the foundations of the metaverse,” said Joel Kaplan, VP of Global Policy at Meta, in a statement.
Meta’s interest with working with startups in India is also not newly found. The company has backed three startups in the country, including social commerce platform Meesho and online education group Unacademy.
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“India’s rapid tech adoption combined with a vast pool of tech talent puts the country in a vantage position for shaping the future of the internet,” said Ajit Mohan, VP and MD of Facebook India, in a statement.
“For this future to be equitable, it will require active participation from all stakeholders, including developers, businesses, creators, policymakers, and entrepreneurs. We are excited to collaborate with MeitY Startup Hub and hope that the XR Startup Program will act as a catalyst to unlock the use of immersive technology across sectors like education, healthcare, agritech and tourism, not only in India but across the globe.”

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WHAT IS QUILVIUS (QVUI)? LET'S EXPLORE THIS UPCOMING METAVERSE CRYPTO PROJECT – Asianet Newsable

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WHAT IS QUILVIUS (QVUI)? LET’S EXPLORE THIS UPCOMING METAVERSE CRYPTO PROJECT  Asianet Newsable
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