John Carmack wants the next iteration of Meta’s Connect event to happen in VR via the new Horizon apps.
Carmack said as much in his keynote speech during this year’s event. During the session, he recalled past in-person events in which attendees would come and ask him questions in hallways, or even when he did the same inside VR last year.
“Really what we want to have is something like that session that’s like the real Connect where thousands of people are milling around, some of them cluster around me outside and we all crowd into a room for the big keynotes,” Carmack said. “And you get all of that ability without having to have people fly across the country or across the world to get there. That’s what we’ve always been pitching as the value of VR.”
“So I really do want us to pitch Connect as the north star event of what we’re doing. We’ve got an event that we do every year here, we’ve got a user base for this. We should be doing this in the metaverse. If we can’t hande this, we can’t handle the vision. And we could do this by next year. I thought we could have done it by this year if we really made this a frontline focus. But we didn’t have that focus like we do now a year ago.”
Carmack continued saying he’d be “really disappointed” if this wasn’t a reality in time for next year’s Connect. “I want to be walking around the halls or walking around the stage as my avatar in front of thousands of people getting in the feed across multiple platforms,” he said. “I’m laying that guantlet down right now, we should be able to do that. This should be exactly in line with what our stated mission is.”
The problem, as Carmack goes on to mention, is that the current Quest hardware struggles to handle even Horizon’s current 16-person limit, with character fidelity degrading in crowds. “The magic being reached for by many people is that, well, cloud rendering would let us use much more powerful systems than the current headset systems and we could add a bunch more on there.”
Carmack said he was supportive of the idea, but noted that would be a lot of cost in terms of people not having the internet connection to attend, and that Meta could also explore ideas like hybrid applications.
We’d definitely love to see Connect in VR next year – would you want to attend that way?