What is Horizon Worlds?
Horizon Worlds, a project originally conceived as a virtual social network by Mark Zuckerberg, has evolved into a Metaverse where users create their own worlds and write basic code. It is a well-detailed world of communication and character interaction, similar to real life.
Full name of the company: Horizon Worlds
Foundation date: 2019
Founder: Mark Zuckerberg (USA)
Capitalization: more than $1.8 million
Legal status: U.S. registration
Horizon Worlds is a virtual reality project initiated and launched by Meta (formerly Facebook). Inside the space, users can play and create their own games, develop an ecosystem, and interact with other participants via avatars.
The main feature of Horizon Worlds is the presence of a well-thought-out and elaborated social component. The user can enter the virtual world via a valid Facebook account, where he or she can contact and interact with up to 20 participants simultaneously.
The Oculus Rift S virtual reality helmet or the Oculus Quest 2 headset are used to play in the metaverse. These accessories feature full 3D motion technology with motion capture systems and handheld controllers to interact with objects in the game most seamlessly and comfortably.
Virtual world participants explore the space around them, moving on foot or teleporting short distances.
Horizon Worlds is represented by a central world, or square and portals. Each portal is an entrance to a world created by a specific user. Players use an integrated system to create such products so that new participants can join their mini-verses and explore the space.
The virtual world created by Meta allows everyone to write their own basic code, which defines the key rules and algorithms for the functioning of individual objects of the metaverse. For example, you can write the full code for bouncing a ball after landing on a hard surface or define the algorithm for firing a gun after a person pulls the trigger.
Meta defines such base code as scenario blocks. They work similarly to the multilayer concept, which is typical for graphic editors. In other words, one complex action is formed by combining several simple ones.
Horizon Worlds human guides are special characters who meet new users at the starting point and help them get to a specific world chosen by the user. The guide can be only an experienced user who is trained to navigate in virtual reality and know the behavior rules.
Today, there is no full-fledged monetization in Mark Zuckerberg's meta-universe, but the developers have already taken the first steps and launched a test version for a certain range of users so that they can sell objects and earn money. Moreover, a key aspect of Horizon Worlds' attractiveness and increased popularity is the opportunity to create worlds and develop the ecosystem.
2019 – Mark Zuckerberg, the head of Meta (formerly Facebook), and his development team announced their own metaverse project, named Facebook Horizon. They started closed testing, and the project's creators conceive it as a safe and convenient environment for creating games (like Minecraft). However, then the whole concept evolved into a full-fledged virtual universe, which gained popularity among the audience.
Over the entire duration of the closed testing period, every day, thousands of users used the provided platform functionality to hold comedy shows, perform underground concerts, organize joint movie nights, practice sports, and meditation sessions.
The presented version of Facebook Horizon allowed for designing complex and non-standard structures. In particular, a replica of the legendary Ecto-1 car from the Ghostbusters movie was created.
2020 – the company announced that the number of users wishing to join the beta test would increase, but new participants could get into Facebook Horizon only by invitation.
2021 – developers released an open beta version of a dedicated Horizon Workrooms app, which enabled collaborative work in the metaverse, generating commands that manage remote work environments. This app featured conference rooms, whiteboards, and video call integration for up to 50 users.
In the fall, the Facebook Horizon metaverse changed its name and became known to the public as Horizon Worlds. From December 9th, the project has been available only to residents of the U.S. and Canada over the age of 18.
There have been complaints from members of the virtual world. For example, one beta tester reported that he was groped, and other users endorsed such behavior. In response to the complaint, he received a response from the developers that he could use the "Safe Zone" tool to protect himself against bodily abuse. Another complaint came from a woman who said she was virtually raped by 3 or 4 men in the metaverse.
2022 – at the beginning of the year, the monthly base of metaverse participants reaches 300 thousand people, and the number of created worlds is up to 10 thousand. There are more than 20 thousand users in the private Facebook group for creators.
After harassment incidents, Horizon Worlds introduces a mandatory "Personal Boundary" for each virtual world member. This tool allows you to create an invisible barrier around your avatar so that other users can't get within four feet of it. Later, the developers announced that they intend to change the dimension of the "Personal Boundary" in the future.
Mark Zuckerberg said we should expect a mobile version of Horizon Worlds this year.
In addition, monetization testing has started so that users can sell virtual assets and objects.
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