Meta has developed a technology where people in the metaverse appear to each other as photorealistic codec avatars in 3D with spatial audio and with a real sense of presence, just like they are in the same room together. The avatars can capture many of the nuances of facial expressions we humans use to communicate emotion to each other face-to-face.
To truly understand how incredible this technology is for human interaction on the internet, watch the first five or so minutes at the beginning of The Lex Fridman Podcast where Lex Fridman interviews Mark Zuckerberg.
Lex Fridman was blown away by it, that such presence and intimacy of conversation could be achieved remotely using an existing Meta headset. He said, "This is the most incredible thing I've ever seen."
The rapidly advancing technology for the metaverse is a real threat to location-based entertainment venues (LBEs). One of the primary reasons people leave their homes to visit LBEs is to socialize in person. The closer the metaverse can offer the quality and presence of face-to-face socialization, the less appealing taking the time and effort to visit an LBE can become. The metaverse technology may soon advance to where a group of people can play in a game together with real presence while never leaving home, actually better than some of the group VR experiences LBEs now offer. Beware, the metaverse is fast advancing to becoming serious competition to out-of-home experiences