It's a staple of science fiction novels and movies such as 'eXistenZ', 'Inception', or 'The Matrix' - a fully interconnected virtual reality where individual users can interact in a computer-generated virtual or augmented world that allows almost any kind of action or interaction. Going far beyond simply playing online games, the metaverse is traditionally visualised as a digitally constructed, greatly enhanced version of the real world, and although the concept dates back decades, it's been considered unattainable due to the limits of current technology.
But Facebook announced on 17 October that it plans to actualise the metaverse - and it's creating 10,000 tech jobs in the European Union over the next five years to get started on the project. Most of these will be highly specialised engineers, according to the blog post on Sunday.
Although Facebook hasn't yet gone into detail about what those jobs may entail, the current AR/VR job listings on its website include work such as high fidelity face reconstruction for creating virtual humans, split rendering (a technology used to enhance virtual reality), dimensional engineering (the creation of physical mechanisms for interacting with virtual reality), machine learning for motion sensing, and others.
The announcement of this upcoming EU recruitment drive follows closely on the heels of the company's September announcement that it is investing US$50 million in programmes and external research to drive the development of physical and digital products that will enable the metaverse.
Earlier in July this year, Facebook had also announced it was creating a metaverse product group and would be hiring for that team.