Facebook owner wants preteens to step into virtual reality with its Quest headset

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    The company, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced that it will allow 10-year-olds to participate in virtual reality via Meta Quest headsets despite growing concerns about children spending too much time on social media. plans to open a digital gateway for

    Meta Platforms, which oversees the social media empire built by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, revealed in a blog post on Friday that the minimum age for Quest accounts will be lowered from 13 to 10. The Menlo Park, Calif., company has framed changes planned for later this year as a family-friendly way for more people to explore the man-made realm Zuckerberg touts as the “Metaverse.”

    The move to lure preteens into virtual worlds filled with digital avatars and other technological hoaxes has prompted US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to warn tech companies and lawmakers of the potentially harmful mental and emotional consequences of overexposure. It comes just weeks after calling for action to be taken to protect children from the effects. on social media.

    Facebook and Instagram are tactics that get kids hooked on social media from an early age, undermine real-life relationships with friends and family, and expose them to online bullying and abuse by sexual predators. has long been criticized as

    In a blog post, Meta said that parents can still manage child accounts on Quest 2 and Quest 3 headsets, and that access for users under the age of 10 will be “age-appropriate” deploying virtual reality (VR). Promised to be limited to apps. According to the company, pre-teens cannot have Quest accounts without explicit parental approval, all apps used on the platform must also have parental consent, and younger age groups must We recommend limiting it to 2 hours. Daily time limit for headsets.

    Other safeguards include setting all preschooler accounts to a private setting by default, and promising not to show ads that generate most of Meta’s revenue.

    “We are building this on responsible innovation principles and our commitment to building safe and positive experiences for young people on the front lines,” Mehta said in a blog post.

    The company also provides extensive guidance to parents when deciding whether children aged 10 to 12 should be allowed to use virtual reality headsets. One section of the guide states, “Medical/medical interventions, such as interventions to support the development of social competence skills, interventions to distract from medical procedures that cause pain or anxiety, and interventions to support specific medical practices. There is a growing body of research investigating the positive effects of VR in clinical settings.” Skill development in special populations, such as children with cerebral palsy.

    By expanding Quest’s potential audience, Zuckerberg sculpted the Metaverse into a sphere, eventually becoming as popular as Facebook and Instagram since launching the company in a college dorm room. It looks like we are taking another important step towards that goal. 20 years ago.

    Despite millions of Quest headsets sold, the Metaverse has so far been mostly a digital ghost town. The Meta division, which oversees the Quest headset and the Metaverse, lost $13.7 billion last year on $2.2 billion in revenue.

    Additionally, Meta faces a new and formidable competition from Apple. Apple last week announced a headset called Vision Pro that can push users into virtual environments. Priced at $3,500, the high-end headset garnered enthusiastic response in a carefully staged demo, but won’t hit stores until sometime early next year.

    Meta has already announced a price tag of $500 for its upcoming Quest headset as a way to get more people to buy it before the Vision Pro launches, and is now targeting preteens. measures are being taken.


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