Creator of the iPod Tony Fadell warns of concerns that the metaverse runs the risk of creating more trolls and further damaging human interaction. Fadell provided these comments to BBC News.
Fadell’s Metaverse Concerns
Fadell stated that the virtual reality-based metaverse removes the ability “to look into the other person’s face”. He further stated, “if you put technology between that human connection that’s when the toxicity happens”.
The metaverse is a virtual reality realm where individuals can create avatars of themselves to interact and explore within online worlds. Users will be able to play games but also use the space for work or going to online musical concerts. Virtual reality headsets help users explore digital worlds. To get an idea, similar comparisons can be made to the video game Second Life, or even Habbo Hotel.
Mark Zuckerberg, co-creater and chief executive of Facebook, is investing billions of dollars and hiring thousands of employees to make the metaverse come to life.
Fadell noted that the tech does have merit, but stated, “when you’re trying to make social interaction and social connection, when you can’t look into the other person’s face, you can’t see their eyes you don’t have real humanistic ways of connecting”. Fadell’s concerns are over the anonymous nature of metaverse, in that users can easily hide behind a false identity.
Users that belonged to the early days of the internet may recall the relative ease in which you could hide your identity. While there is still chance to be anonymous in today’s online landscape, it is no longer as easy as simply making a fake email. Fadell’s concerns are that the metaverse could potentially be ripe for trolling.
Investing in Virtual Reality
In addition to Zuckerberg, tech giants Microsoft and Epic Games (Fortnite) are also heavily investing in the metaverse. Sometime this year, Microsoft is looking to add 3D virtual avatars and environments to its Teams chat system.
In an interview with The Verge, Zuckerberg stated that people should not live through “small, glowing rectangles” when experiencing the internet. He further stated, “A lot of the meetings we have today, you’re looking at a grid of faces on a screen. That’s not how we process things either”.
While Fadell made his opinion of the metaverse clear, the creator of the iPod also got to comment about the latest demise of the historic device. Launched 21 years ago, the iPod changed both tech and music landscapes.
Concerning the end of this iconic device, Fadell stated, “I’ve been in the technology business long enough to know the drum beat of technology and the march of technology never ends and so, that was an amazing period of time for the iPod but unfortunately that’s the business we’re in so I’ve got used to that situation”.
Currently, the iPod touch, the last iPod Apple is selling, is officially out of stock through the U.S. store. However, some third-party resellers do have some in stock.