Wednesday, October 5, 2016

This could be Oculus Rift's killer app


Tomorrow, Oculus and Facebook are expected to announce what could be Oculus Rift's killer app: Facebook VR.


Update: see here for the announcement

Whereas Tim Cook believes VR isolates users, Mark Zuckerberg has said that VR may become "the most social platform."  Zuckerberg envisioned people being able to share and experience scenes as if they were physically present at the place and with each other.  The first step toward realizing this vision was demo'd back in April at the F8 Facebook Developer Conference.  Facebook's VR app allows people to interact with each other with virtual avatars in 360-degree environments.

Here's a video by UploadVR showing the concept:
This won't be the first social VR app.  Altspace VR and Vtime are two other apps that already allow people to interact with each other in VR using avatars.  However, Facebook's VR app is unique in enabling users to experience 360 photo environments together, as though they were present at the same location.  It is also unique in its integration of hand and finger movements using the new Oculus Touch controllers for Oculus Rift.

It is expected that Facebook VR will be officially launched tomorrow during the keynote address for Oculus Connect 3 (10am Pacific Time).