Facebook Talks About VR at F8 Conference
After the well-known buyout of Oculus VR made by Facebook close to a year ago, the social network giant steps into the future of virtual reality becoming an integral part of the Facebook experience.
At the recently held Facebook F8 annual developer conference at Fort Mason Center on San Francisco Bay, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the crowd about the involvement of virtual reality technology in shaping the future of social networking for the masses. A demo of Oculus’ virtual reality during the conference showed an experience where a person stands on the top of a skyscraper, with the ability to look around the area; the highlight of this demo was when the person looks down below from where he actually is, giving a sense of vertigo and acrophobia in a bizarre yet unique way.
Attendees strap the Oculus Rift headset and steps into a virtual world – bringing them atop a skyscraper – only to find out that they are actually in a room yet having the feeling of being there. The demo experience is somewhat freaky and gives a sense of disconnection to the real world, but Facebook said that they are determined to close this gap of uneasiness between the virtual content and the real world. This mission is especially crucial to the future implementation of virtual reality to Facebook’s signature social media experience.
During the conference keynote held at the said event, Zuckerberg revealed to attendees about the development of a 360-degree video that can be used to recreate real places to give a sense of “presence” to the user in relation to his selected location-based experience. This development was derived from Oculus’ prototype demos that put the user into a virtual world with virtual objects. The initial plan by Facebook about this 360-degree video is by making spherical videos to show up in a user’s News Feed. These videos can be scrolled in various orientations by tilting the smartphone where the content is being shown. Soon enough, Facebook will push this feature onto VR headsets like the Rift.
According to Zuckerberg, the spherical video feature can change the way we experience watching ordinary videos. He added that by making use of virtual reality, ordinary videos can be turned into completely immersive video experiences.
With the collaborative integration of VR developments made by Facebook and Oculus, expect to see a lot more from these companies in the development of virtual reality experiences tailored for the future of social networking.