Meta Education Initiative Aims to Put Quest VR in Classrooms

Meta will release a new Quest educational product later this year. As with 2023’s workplace-specific Meta Quest for Business, the as yet unnamed learning tool will allow teachers, trainers and administrators to access education-specific apps and features, and make it possible for them to manage multiple Quest devices at once. The classroom convenience of not having to individually update and prepare each headset for the same lesson was one of Meta’s key findings in researching what teachers wanted from virtual reality, Meta says, positioning education and training as a growing tech product sector, with lots of app activity.

TechCrunch reports the new initiative includes “a hub for education-specific apps and features,” adding that “a push into education could mean more diversified content for Quest users, along with a wider ecosystem of developers building for the platform — not the killer app critics say is still missing from VR, but at least more action.”

As an announcement with few details, “the company is framing it as a long-term bet,” TechCrunch points out. “We accept that it’s going to take a long time, and we’re not going to be making any money on this anytime soon,” Meta President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg tells Axios “in an interview conducted remotely using Quest VR headsets.”

“We’re investing billions of dollars in constantly iterating on the technology,” Clegg added.

When Spotify announced its educational outreach last month, it cited global e-learning as a $316.2 billion business, per Research and Markets, which projects it will reach $661.6 billion by 2032.

The news comes at a time when Meta has a vested interest in creating a more child-friendly environment on its platforms and services. In the U.S., both Facebook and Instagram have become Congressional punching bags at state and federal levels, where they’re routinely accused of creating unhealthy environments for kids.

“Meta’s instant messaging service WhatsApp has been getting a lot of heat over lowering the minimum age for users to 13 in the UK and EU (it had previously been 16),” TechCrunch says, adding that one response has been Meta “prompting Quest users to confirm their age so it can provide teens and preteens with appropriate experiences.”

In a blog post, Clegg stressed the new educational Quest product is “the result of extensive consultation and collaboration with educators, researchers and third-party developers working in the education space around the world.” At launch, the plan is “to make the product available in our Quest for Business supported markets to institutions serving learners aged 13+,” Clegg wrote.

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