Virtual reality (VR) is clearly the next big step for online-based interaction. There is perhaps no other company that understands this more than Facebook Inc . It has taken significant steps to ensure that it stands ahead of the virtual reality space. Clearly, Facebook is fully aware what it can achieve with the right ingredients.
Facebook readies itself for a VR revolution
In 2014, Facebook Inc acquired Oculus RV — a promising little start-up that is making headway in the realm of virtual reality. The $2 billion purchase promises to yield great results for the company. Now Oculus is gearing up to release its highly anticipated virtual headset, the Oculus Rift. The device is due to come out in April. Pre-orders have been open for months now although an exact retail release date is yet to be given.
The Oculus Rift is more than just a gaming accessory. For Facebook, it is the beginning of virtual reality future — a venture that could see it completely revolutionize the way we interact with each other.
Facebook has really wanted to make virtual reality its thing for a while now. The company clearly sees its platform growing into a something far more interactive than words, likes and images. It has recently begun promoting its adoption of 3D degree videos as well — a mere step in the direction of great VR experiences.
Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, says that “360 degree video is going to get better and better to the point where it’s capturing full depth, full light fields, full sound fields, basically getting very close to actually capturing an actual event. It’s terrifying and great at the same time.”
Facebook platform is just about ready for VR
Facebook has around a billion monthly active users. It is undoubtedly the largest social network in the world. It also owns the Instagram platform as well as WhatsApp. The company is an online juggernaut with a powerful presence in the social media space. By incorporating virtual reality, it can usher in an entirely new dimension to social networking.
“Every form of digital communication is generally inferior to face-to-face communication. There’s something you get by actually meeting people that you don’t get from email, text or phone. Virtual reality is the first technology that tries to make digital communication, not just more efficient or more useful, but more compelling and more human.”
The company is setting up to push online interactions beyond recorded images, likes and emojies.
At London’s Wearable Technology Show this week, Starship’s CMO Julian Price spoke about how VR had the potential to turn social networks into sociable networks. The key, he said, will be the transition from phone, tablet or computer-based interactions, which are largely asynchronous, into real-time, VR interactions, where participants are perfectly in synch.
There are many obstacles that stand in the way of this though. For instance, mobile communication networks just aren’t up to scratch yet. Most of the world barely surpasses 3G technology. This would not be ideal for live VR interactions. In light of this, Facebook Inc is advocating for the fast introduction of 5G comms tech across the globe. Faster networks would greatly speed up the development, innovation and adoption of VR technology.
For Facebook, the interactive applications for VR are vast and it is clearly eager to get things going.