According to a recent report by Bloomberg, employees at Meta who are working on developing the metaverse are not enthusiastic about using the company’s VR headsets. The headsets have been described as “uncomfortable” and “glitchy” by several employees who spoke anonymously.
Challenges in VR Adoption at Meta
Meta’s vision revolves around creating a metaverse where people can use VR headsets to socialize and work in a digital world. However, the report suggests that many employees across different teams, including the VR section, have not been actively using the headsets for their work. While Meta provides headsets to employees participating in internal testing programs, the level of adoption among employees has been limited.
Interestingly, even Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, reportedly had his team “try” VR meetings briefly but ultimately abandoned the practice due to the discomfort and glitches experienced by the staff. Furthermore, according to one employee, those involved in sales pitches to clients like Walmart and Accenture are not utilizing the headsets in their day-to-day work.
Meta, which recently unveiled its latest Meta Quest headset, has not yet commented on the internal usage numbers of the headsets. However, with Meta’s plans to require most employees to work in person for at least three days a week starting in September, the adoption of VR headsets may face further challenges.
The hesitancy among employees to embrace VR headsets can be attributed to various factors. Discomfort and potential feelings of embarrassment have been cited, with the appearance of legless cartoon avatars deemed “weird and unprofessional.” VR headsets are also known to cause discomfort and even nausea, prompting Meta’s recommendation of taking regular breaks every 30 minutes.
These findings come in the wake of Meta’s Reality Labs VR and AR division reporting a substantial operating loss of $13.7 billion in 2022, surpassing the $10.2 billion loss recorded in the previous year.
Meanwhile, as Meta faces challenges in promoting VR technology within its organization, Apple is rumored to be launching its own VR headset and is reportedly planning to issue multiple usage warnings. Individuals with health conditions such as inner ear infections, ADHD/ADD, and anxiety may be advised to exercise caution when using VR headsets.
The reluctance among Meta employees to use VR headsets for metaverse work raises questions about the future prospects of VR adoption within the company. As Meta continues to navigate the challenges associated with VR technology, it remains to be seen how the company will address employee concerns and propel its vision for the metaverse forward.
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