Jan 26 2023

Creating human moments for the metaverse

By Meta Careers
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“The one piece of technology I really wish existed,” says Tony T., “is teleportation.”
Tony is a research science manager in Reality Labs research. His team creates technology that will allow people to make digital representations of themselves for the metaverse. The team is currently focused on the human body and capturing the way we look and move as accurately as possible.
But back to teleportation for a moment. Like many people, the past few years brought about difficult moments for Tony, especially when it came to being away from his loved ones. The ability to be physically present with people in an instant was very much on his mind. And even before the pandemic, Tony’s career and personal travels took him all over the world, away from the people who know him best. While he’s immensely thankful for the opportunities, he recognizes the trade-offs.
“I’m from France with Chinese-Cambodian heritage,” Tony says. “I lived in Japan and now I live in the US. I’ve been living abroad for many years now. I feel very lucky for these experiences, but on the other hand, it also means that I’ve been away from my dear family and friends for quite some time,” he explains.
"Tony sitting on a ledge overlooking the sea."
Tony has traveled the world, for both work and personal adventures.
When talking with Tony, it’s clear how much he loves connecting with people. In his world travels, he cites getting to know new friends from different backgrounds and cultures as one of his favorite experiences. And it’s in the work being done in Reality Labs research, be it in product or other corners of the metaverse, where he sees the possibility for people to enrich their already-existing connections with each other.
Tony and his team aim to create a live representation of people who are physically distant from each other, but have the sense of personal closeness and presence feel real. Tony is especially emphatic about having these digital representations be as true as possible. “We’re talking about a person’s real face and body, their gestures, hair, clothes and voice. And we would feel that they really are here with us — not like we’re in a video game.”
Today, telepresence experiences like video calls are one way to achieve this closeness, but the feeling of being physically distant is still very much apparent. Tony is excited for future technology that feels so real and present, it can enable what he calls “heart-to-heart conversations” and other interactions that strengthen human bonds.
As a manager, Tony is mindful of how to connect with and motivate his team, too. “I’m very motivated by our mission at Meta,” he says. “I try to inspire my team through my own work and efforts. While it’s important that my team is also self-motivated, my hope is to lead by example and help all of us reach our goals. We’ve been making steady progress and discoveries over the past few years that we can be proud of. Every step forward in research is actually a big step toward making our dreams come true.”
Whether it’s world travel or having a heart-to-heart conversation with a close friend, Tony’s passion for connection doesn’t dissipate. “I want technology to reduce physical distances to zero,” he says. “I want it to take me close to the people I want to be with in an instant.”

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