One of Meta’s core goals is to foster a “metaverse” where people can hang out and work in the digital world while wearing VR headsets, but many of our employees don’t use VR headsets. Not (Bloomberg) report(opens in new window).
Eleven current and former employees, who spoke to Bloomberg on condition of anonymity, said teams within the company, including the VR department, do not regularly use VR at work. As noted in the report, Meta will provide headsets to employees if they enroll in an internal program to test new features before they are released to the public.
What the report reveals is that Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, and his team decided to cancel the experimental VR conference before it was called off because the staff felt it was “uncomfortable and glitchy.” It means that we “tried” a typical VR meeting for a short period of time. One employee said even teams demonstrating headsets in pitches to customers such as Walmart and consulting firm Accenture don’t use the product in their daily work.
Meta announced its latest Meta Quest headset last week, but did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment on the company’s internal headset usage figures.
Considering Meta reports plans to do more work in person, VR headset adoption could become even more difficult. Starting in September, Meta will require most employees to be in the office at least three days a week.
Reluctance to pick up a headset can be explained by a number of factors. First, it can cause nausea and discomfort (in fact, Meta advises users to take long breaks every her 30 minutes). Some employees described it as “strange and unprofessional” to appear as a cartoon avatar without legs, and “embarrassing” to wear a headset.
The insight comes after the company’s Reality Labs VR and AR division posted a massive $13.7 billion loss in 2022, compared to the $10.2 billion operating loss it recorded in 2021. $3.5 billion more.
Meanwhile, as Apple prepares to launch its rumored VR headset, the iPhone maker will reportedly issue multiple usage warnings. People with various health problems, such as inner ear infections, ADHD/ADD, and anxiety, may want to avoid using it.
Get the best stories!
Apply What’s New Today Get the top stories delivered to your inbox every morning.