2023 World Economic Forum discusses the metaverse


Although the Metaverse is the talk of the town, it has yet to prove its impact on our daily lives, and many naysayers doubt it will ever succeed. However, Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Meta Platforms, said at the annual 2023 World Economic Forum that he believes the virtual reality (VR) platform will one day be so important to our daily lives that it will be comparable to the smartphone.


The technology-focused discussion took place Wednesday, the 18th of January, in Davos, Switzerland, and centered on the topic of ‘How can a safe, accessible and economically viable metaverse be operationalized?’ Cox was joined at the forum by author and inventor of the term Metaverse Neal Stephenson, CEO of HP Enrique Lores, and Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation in Rwanda. The discussion was moderated by Atlantic CEO Nicholas Thompson.

will the metaverse be as important as smartphones? meta's chief product officer thinks so
all images courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg

a VR platform as important as the smartphone

During the discussion at the World Economic Forum (find more here), Chris Cox shared that for the past eight years, Meta Platforms has been working on developing a VR product line that is ‘affordable, usable and impressive enough’ to be used in a variety of fields, from social experiences, fitness, and gaming, to medicine, drug development, and industrial design. 
Essentially, the tech giant is trying to create hardware that can be used in place of a PC for things we want to do more naturally in 3D. In addition to VR, the company is also working on augmented reality (AR) and plans to develop more advanced products, such as lightweight, comfortable AR glasses that will become part of our everyday lives. ‘We believe that one day, that computing platform will be as important as the smartphone has become in our lifetimes.’ Cox explained. 
will the metaverse be as important as smartphones? meta's chief product officer thinks so

Despite this optimistic statement, not many people seem to share the same opinion. The recent crash of Meta shares and the decline in sales of VR underline the hesitation to adopt this new virtual reality platform. Nevertheless, Meta CEO Mark Zucherberg is still committed to the Metaverse, and the entire team is working to improve the user experience and combat any issues that arise.


For now, Cox believes that one of the metaverse’s current problems with the Metaverse is its lack of interoperability with other platforms. ‘I think the Internet is a very good way of thinking about the metaverse because some parts of the Internet are very coherent with each other,’ he said at the panel, pointing out how easy it is to switch from one app to another, such as from Instagram to Google Maps, without any problems. He said that this interoperability ‘does not exist yet for the Metaverse’. 

 will the metaverse be as important as smartphones? meta's chief product officer thinks so