Meta Quest 2 users can now enjoy a taste of Meta’s evolving vision of the Metaverse thanks to the recent arrival of Horizon Home. Allowing users (or at least their avatars) to hang out, watch videos, and play games together, Horizon Home turns the Quest 2 home screen into a communal space for users and their friends. Meta’s signature waist-up avatars float around the space and are able to chat verbally, gesture, and initiate activities. To showcase the update, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg joined free-climber Alex Honnold in viewing his 360° film The Soloist, taking in awesome views of Italy’s Dolomite mountains.
Socializing Goes Meta
Along with Horizon Workrooms, Horizon Venues, and Horizon Worlds, Horizon Home makes up Meta’s first substantial effort to pull users into a functioning metaverse. Although remote work using VR has yet not been especially successful, live concert experiences still suffer from the obnoxious presence of fellow virtual attendees, and the user-created experiences of Horizon Worlds are continuing to be developed, Horizon Home gives Quest 2 users a simple and streamlined way to enjoy each other’s virtual company. (All while keeping a four-foot distance from each other’s avatars.)
Where Horizon Workrooms merely wraps in VR an experience many of us have become used to, even fond of, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Horizon Home takes an experience made impossible or ill-advised (sharing a physical space with others) and provides a genuine alternative. Whether or not this virtual hang-out space will catch on with Quest 2’s more than 10 million users remains to be seen. The fact that Meta has launched Horizon Home is not at all surprising as this kind of social experience – one has also seen in popular social VR worlds like VR Chat, and previously in non-VR apps like Second Life, MySpace, and Facebook – will be crucial to the establishment of a genuine metaverse.