Social networking giant Facebook recently took its very first steps into the world of virtual reality (VR). Back in September 2015 the Oculus VR owner launched 360 videos on its platform for the first time, which will one day be viewable from within the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD). The company has plenty more work to do in getting VR to fit with its social network, however, and has this week hired three Microsoft veterans to help it do just that.
According to The Tech Portal, Facebook has hired Michael Cohen, Rick Szeliski and Matt Uyttendaele, all former members of Microsoft Research, to work on tools that will allow users to share 3D and VR videos on their own profiles. A statement from this team reads: “We will be creating new tools and technologies that have in the past often been restricted to a specialist or required many hours of curation and bring that to the entire Facebook community.” It wasn’t mentioned just when fans might see these tools release, making VR video available to everyone that uses Facebook.
This seems to be a step closer to a future for Facebook that CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself recently envisioned. Speaking at a Townhall Q&A last month, the CEO said that he wanted to share his daughter’s first steps with his family in VR, allowing them to feel like they are actually there, experiencing the moment for themselves. The Oculus Rift will be going on sale in the first quarter of 2016, though exactly when it will be compatible with Facebook itself is currently unclear.
VRFocus will continue to follow Facebook’s work in VR closely, reporting back with the latest updates from the company.