Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched the highly anticipated Meta Connect conference, a pivotal event focusing on the future of AR/VR investments and the development of the metaverse. This conference marks a significant moment for the social media giant, being its largest event of the year and the first in-person conference since the beginning of the pandemic.

Zuckerberg’s announcements during the event are expected to shed light on his vision for the metaverse, which he envisions as the future of computing. This comes at a time when investor interest has shifted towards artificial intelligence, away from augmented and virtual reality technologies. In response to criticism and financial pressures, Meta had to lay off tens of thousands of employees last year to continue funding its metaverse ambitions.

Developers are eagerly awaiting insights into potential applications for Meta’s latest hardware, including the upcoming Quest virtual reality headset. Investors, on the other hand, are closely monitoring the event to gauge whether Meta’s substantial investments in the metaverse will eventually yield returns, considering the company’s losses exceeding $40 billion since 2021.

One of the key highlights of the conference will be the introduction of AI-powered virtual assistants with distinct personalities, which Meta plans to integrate into its apps. This move aligns with the broader trend of incorporating generative AI chatbots into the company’s ecosystem.

Additionally, Meta has made progress in expanding its social VR platform, Horizon Worlds, by introducing mobile and web versions. Notably, the company has also expanded its virtual reality avatars to include lower-body features, a development observed by industry experts.

Stay tuned for further updates from the Meta Connect conference, where Mark Zuckerberg and Meta Platforms reveal their latest advancements in the AR/VR and metaverse realms.

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