Facebook Exec Laments the Company’s Bulky, “Wretched” VR Headset

"Can we get the sneering and mockery out of the way?"

12. 17. 21 by Victor Tangermann
Financial Times/Futurism
Image by Financial Times/Futurism

Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president for global affairs and communications, isn’t impressed with the design of the company’s Quest virtual reality headset.

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Clegg had a hard time drinking his coffee while wearing the headset — with hilarious consequences, as a clip shared by the publication’s Henry Mance shows.

The head of Clegg’s VR avatar snapped back unnaturally, the consequence of having to lift his VR headset to have a sip of his beverage.

“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,” he told Mance. “So don’t think I’m craning my head weirdly.”

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It’s a rather damning confession, considering how close Clegg is to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg — and just how much the latter is betting on making VR spaces the future of the internet.

As the technology stands right now, the metaverse isn’t going to replace physical interaction any time soon. VR spaces on the company’s Horizon platforms are filled with screaming children and men making unwanted advances on the proportionally few women users.

And in the world of journalism, Clegg is clearly struggling to sell Mance on the feature.

“Can we get the sneering and mockery out of the way?” Clegg told Mance upon their virtual meeting. After all, staring at a crude, legless floating head that only vaguely approximates its human counterpart isn’t exactly conducive to an insightful one-on-one.

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And that’s not to mention that VR headsets are still pretty enormous and bulky. While designs have come a long way, particularly thanks to advancements in wireless technologies, the ability to sip a coffee while catching up inside what Facebook is calling the “metaverse” should be a pretty basic expectation.

“This is an extremely funny clip,” The New York Times tech reporter Will Oremus wrote in a tweet responding to Mance’s video, “but are we really calling whatever glitchy VR videoconference app this is ‘the metaverse’ now just because Facebook says so?”

READ MORE: My trip into the metaverse with Facebook defender-in-chief Nick Clegg [Financial Times]

More on the metaverse: Sexual Assault Is Already Happening in the Metaverse

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