It’s been two years since Facebook bought virtual reality (VR) company, Oculus for $2b and since then we’ve only heard of headsets shipping to the market without any concrete plans on how we might eventually use VR on Facebook in future. That all changed this week though when Mark Zuckerberg went on stage at the Oculus Connect event to layout his plans for the future of VR.
When VR is mentioned, it usually centers on gaming in an environment of isolation but Mark Zuckerberg demoed what looks like the future where you can chat with people using your own VR avatar. Using your VR Oculus VR headset in future, you’ll be able to connect more with people just like you do now only this time it’ll be in a virtual environment.
What it all means
In the video attached above, you can see Mark and two other Facebook staff (VR avatar) at different locations. They were able to watch movies together, take selfies and play games together. So all we have to do is be connected on our Oculus VR headset and from there we can do pretty much everything including checking on the dog at home and reporting back to your wife as Mark demonstrated.
The processing of reporting was through Facebook Messenger video call and if you continue watching the video, you’ll see how it easy it was to place a video call and even take selfies right inside the virtual environment.
This is really the future guys. Facebook has 1.71 billion users and about 1 billion of them are on Facebook Messenger and this could open a new style of connections that we may not even know of now. While VR is not Facebook proprietary, using VR for social media connection could.
The big news here is, get ready for a new Facebook future that will run on VR. As part of his keynote address, he also showcased the concept of livestreaming games into virtual reality. Using Gear VR (Samsung’s phone based VR headset which was developed using Oculus technology), you can broadcast games into your Facebook feed and see what others are doing in 2D too.
He went on to say, this will be like a normal live video status update. Now does this remind you of anything? It certainly looks like the live section of YouTube’s gaming site which went live last year August. Social gaming has been around for some time now especially with Xbox and PlayStation online multi player services but in VR on social media, that’s what Facebook wants to achieve.
Starting December, you can buy the Oculus controllers for about $200.