Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, takes a shot at the Metaverse concept in an interview with The Babylon Bee. The Metaverse is the bizarre virtual world that Facebook-now-known-as-Meta claims would replace our monotonous two-dimensional displays.
“Am I like one of those people who was dismissing the internet [in] ’95 as some fad or something that’s never going to amount to anything?” Musk asked the site.
“Sure, you can put a TV on your nose,” he added derisively. “I’m not sure that makes you ‘in the metaverse.’”
Musk is unconvinced by the notion of “strapping a frigging screen to their face all day and not wanting to ever leave.”
“That seems… no way,” he said in the interview.
“It gets uncomfortable to have this thing strapped to your head the whole time,” he added. “I think we’re far from disappearing into the metaverse.”
Musk also proposed a far superior product: a chip surgically implanted in your brain, an invention of his brain-computer interface company Neuralink.
“Long term, a sophisticated Neuralink could put you fully, fully in a virtual reality thing,” he said.
Meta has recently made a huge effort into virtual reality, promoting its Metaverse as a better way to interact with others while wearing VR gear. However, Nick Clegg, the company’s vice president of global affairs and communications, has acknowledged that experience is still missing.
“If I’m lifting my head, it’s because I’m drinking my coffee and this wretched headset is too bulky for me to drink my coffee without moving my headset,” Clegg told the Financial Times in a recent interview.
Musk also targeted Web3, the concept of decentralizing the internet by rebuilding it around blockchain technology. Web3 was described as “more marketing than reality” by him.
“I don’t get it,” he added dismissively. “But I don’t get it yet; let’s put it that way.”
On the other hand, Musk refrained from openly rejecting the concept of the Metaverse or Web3. Instead, he claimed that there is “a danger” of not being able to “see a compelling metaverse situation,” citing David Letterman’s analysis of the internet concept in a 1995 interview with Bill Gates, which he shared earlier this week.
It’s unknown whether the Metaverse concept will catch on or if it will become a fad. Musk has already been proven wrong in the past.
While virtual reality has come a long way, it is still a long way from being widely used. Will a surgically implanted brain chip persuade enough buyers if VR headsets fail? That, in my perspective, is an even greater stretch.