It’s not hard to see why social networking giant, Facebook, decided to spend some $2 billion USD on Oculus VR back in 2014. Virtual reality (VR) technology has some incredible applications for social platforms, and the company is already working on some areas of that potential, such as sharing 360 degree videos that can be watched in a head-mounted display (HMD) such as Samsung’s Gear VR. There’s plenty more to come, though, and Facebook is making sure it’s ready with ‘new teams’ that are creating the ‘next-generation’ of social VR apps.
Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg said as much today when making a surprise appearance at Samsung’s Unpacked press event in Barcelona, Spain, just ahead of the 2016 Mobile World Congress (MWC) event. “We’ve recently created new teams at Facebook to build the next-generation of social apps in VR.” Shortly thereafter, Oculus VR itself officially announced the Social VR team from Facebook.
A statement from the company reads: “Facebook has created a Social VR team focused entirely on exploring the future of social interaction in VR. They’ll explore how people can connect and share using today’s VR tech, as well as long-term possibilities. They will work closely with Oculus and other teams at Facebook to build the foundation for tomorrow’s social VR experiences on all platforms.”
VR fans have already seen the start of Oculus VR’s work with social apps in two pieces of content. The first, The Toybox, is a demo for the Oculus Touch position-tracked controllers that also lets two people talk to each other and interact together online, appearing as avatars. An experimental social app is also available on Gear VR right now. Expect to see plenty more from the company in this field in the near future, then.
Stay tuned to VRFocus for the latest updates on Facebook’s work in VR.