As Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) creator Oculus VR has said time and again, the virtual reality (VR) device will first be focusing on creating immersive videogames. In time however the VR industry will be looking to make an impact in other areas. In fact, according to Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe, the ‘next step’ for the Oculus Rift itself is to create face-to-face communication experiences with multiple users.
Iribe stated as much in a recent interview with CNN Money. “And suddenly when you get to this certain threshold where the tracking is right, the latency is right, the optics, everything comes together, this switch in your brain flips and you’re comfortable, and you feel like you’re there” the CEO explained. “And you start to get those little hints of presence where you feel like you’re in that virtual space and then the next step is ‘can we get other people in there with you?’ And they would be right there in front of you and you would believe they’re there.”
He later continued: “And then, longer term, I do think it’s going to be largely about face-to-face communications that we’ve been longing for.”
It’s not surprising to hear that Oculus VR has these ambitions given that the company was purchased by social networking giant Facebook earlier in 2014 for $2 billion USD. Since the deal was revealed the company has repeatedly stressed that its immediate focus was going to be on the videogame industry, although long-term it would be looking to make the Oculus Rift platform for social interaction. In fact, these applications for a large part of why the company think VR will reach a billion people in the future.
Oculus VR is yet to share any of its plans for this kind of social software. VRFocus will continue to follow the company’s progress, reporting back with any further updates on it.