With the Metaverse, the Facebook mother Meta wants to ignite the next evolutionary stage of the Internet. A first hardware component is the Meta Quest 2, which we were able to try out briefly during a press event.

(Screenshot: Facebook)

On July 6, the Zuckerberg group Meta invited around 60 journalists to a press event in its offices on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. The event focused on the next generation of the internet, dubbed Metaverse by the Meta boss.

A look into the early Metaverse with Meta Quest 2


Meta’s current development status with the Metaverse and the hardware can currently be examined with the VR glasses Meta Quest 2 – no longer Oculus . And this ultimately corresponds to that of a classic VR headset. The Meta Quest 2 is a stand-alone pair of glasses that was launched in 2020 but cannot (any longer) be sold in Germany for antitrust reasons . The reason for this is the pairing of the glasses with the Facebook account as a single sign-on solution. From August 2022, the group wants to lift this compulsion, which means that the headset may soon be able to be bought directly in this country.

Despite the current legal restrictions, Meta released a few copies of Quest 2 for the loaded press. After a panel talk with Constanze Osei from Meta, industry expert Matt Navarra and Sara Lisa Vogl, Virtual Reality (VR) Consultant on the status quo and the future of the Metaverse, we were able to try out the VR experience with the Quest 2.


My impressions: The Meta Quest 2 is great fun. It starts with the fact that it fits easily even with the glasses on my nose. After a short intro on how to operate the controllers, I quickly find my way around the seemingly endless space with a few virtual utensils to try out. In the virtual world, even banal things like stacking hand-sized dice and throwing them around are a lot of fun. 

Small rockets that can be wound up with a string and paper planes that can be flown around are also cool. Trying to balance a virtual ping-pong ball on a virtual ping-pong bat or bouncing up and down on the bat turns out to be rather frustrating. Since I hardly felt any haptic feedback. Nevertheless: Such things, which are actually banal in the real world, are a lot of fun in the virtual world. So much fun that I lost track of time and the Meta staff suddenly had to pull me out of my virtual urge to explore.

Back in the real world of Meta HQ, I went to the next station that the company itself actively uses for work meetings: the Horizon Workrooms .


    “Works” and meetings in the Metaverse

    With Metas Horizon Workrooms you meet with colleagues from all over the world at the conference table. (Image: Meta)

    In the workroom, all participants appear in the form of comic-like avatars ending at the torso, which users can (actually) create themselves. In addition, each participant has a kind of button with several buttons and a screen in front of them. In order to create a working environment, the virtual space can be equipped with virtual screens, furniture and decoration on the side walls and high windows with a view of a skyline from different office scenarios.

    Incidentally, no controllers are required to interact with the virtual office here, the cameras of the VR glasses also recognize the hands, but the control is less precise, but sufficient. To press a button, you simply pinch your thumb and forefinger together, which works similar to Microsoft’s HoloLens. One of the buttons even enables the so-called pass-through function: This activates the outward-facing cameras and creates a mixture of the virtual and real world. In this way you can, for example, work on your real notebook and continue to see the participants in the virtual conference. However, the resolution of the outward-facing cameras is not particularly good and is kept in shades of gray.

    In the Horizon Workrooms there are also whiteboards on which you can take notes and present content. However, you need a controller to write. But you turn it over and write as if with a piece of chalk. I can’t judge how well this solution really works in everyday work and whether a Zoom or Meet call isn’t enough. However, Meta is not the only company experimenting with such virtual office and meeting rooms. Microsoft is also developing similar solutions with Mesh, in which not only meetings but also conferences are to be held.


    At the end of the event, I was conflicted. Because on the one hand I got a new impression of the current status of the Metaverse. He showed me that the Metaverse is still in its infancy – Meta is well aware of that. According to the company, it could take another ten to fifteen years – or maybe less – until it has grown out of these, especially since the way there is more of a groping and trying out process. Meta’s next generation of hardware, which is being developed under the code name Cambria, is likely to take a bigger step. Meta says so itself. The company makes it clear that Meta is careful not to let the Metaverse become a platform of a company like Meta, Google or Microsoft. Instead, the focus is on a decentralized approach.

    The Metaverse is not intended to become a parallel world

    When asked from the audience whether there is a master plan and who sets it, Constanze Osei, Head of Society & Innovation Policy at Meta DACH, replied that there is no master plan for the Metaverse. Meta is currently focusing on building the foundation like new hardware.

    In addition, Meta does not want to manage the Metaverse project on its own, but rather develop the “successor to the mobile Internet” with many partner companies. In addition, there will not be one metaverse, but many, Meta clarifies. According to the plan, these should be interoperable, so that users can jump from one Metaverse island to the next and, for example, take their avatar created on Roblox with them everywhere.


      To this end, Meta founded the “ Metaverse Standards Forum ” with a large number of other corporations , in which uniform standards for interoperability are to be developed. In addition to Meta, Microsoft, Google, Epic Games, Adobe, Nvidia, Sony, Unity and many more are on board. But there are also some relevant companies that are not included; Apple in particular, but also Niantic, Roblox and Snapchat, are missing, although they are each working on their own interpretation of the Metaverse.

      It is also clear that Meta, like Microsoft or Google, does not only want to make the Metaverse accessible with VR glasses. Instead, it should also be usable with smartphones, desktop computers and other future technologies such as AR glasses.


      As became clear in the course of the panel talk, many principles of the metaverse still have to be clarified. For example, what about solutions to protect children in the Metaverse, how about the design and appearance of avatars? What impact can perfect avatars have on people in real life? And there are many more questions. Issues related to the complex of inclusion would also have to be clarified.


      Ultimately, no one knows what the “finished” metaverse will look like, but there will be a variety of versions depending on the company, provider and hardware, with some relying more on pure augmented reality content and others more on VR. It will also be exciting to see which other technologies will be available in addition to AR and VR headsets in order to be able to dive into the Metaverse even more immersively. Will we ever be able to feel the wind in our faces on a virtual climbing tour or feel the icy cold on Mount Everest? The (virtual) journey remains and will be exciting.