Today marks the one-year anniversary of Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) creator, Oculus VR. It also sees the company’s F8 developer conference kick off in San Francisco, California, USA. Oculus VR has already had a big part to play at the conference; Facebook has announced that it will be bringing spherical video support to its platform in the future and will be supporting the Oculus Rift in the process.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed as much in his opening keynote speech at the conference. Zuckerberg noted that, while many think of VR as a peripheral for videogames, video is arguably a more important application of the technology. Thus, Facebook will be bringing spherical videos, in which players can put on the HMD and look around using its head-tracking technology, to users ‘soon’. A picture also showed Oculus VR and Samsung’s Gear VR smartphone-based HMD, suggesting that this device will also support these videos.
This marks one of the first direct links between Facebook and Oculus VR, with the former largely remaining distant from the latter in the year that’s followed the acquisition. Details about just how users will be able to upload spherical videos are yet to be announced, but this is the first step towards integrating the Oculus Rift with the Facebook platform itself.
360 degree, spherical video content is becoming increasingly important for VR. Oculus VR itself recently announced Oculus Story Studio, which is dedicated to creating immersive storytelling VR experiences.
Oculus VR will be hosting its own Keynote talk at F8 tomorrow, titled Facebook to Start Supporting Spherical Videos for Oculus Rift ‘Soon’
‘Why Virtual Reality Will Matter to You’ and featuring Oculus VR Chief Scientist Michael Abrash and Facebook Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mike Schroepfer. It gets underway at 10:00 PT. VRFocus will continue to follow Facebook’s work with Oculus VR, reporting back with any further updates.