In March of 2014, Facebook bought the Virtual-Reality (or ‘VR’ for short) headset manufacturer Oculus for $2 billion. Many in the industry were unsure how this acquisition would play out and what it would mean for the VR company. At the Code/Media conference in Laguna Niguel, California, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox announced some exciting news. In an interview with Re/code’s senior editor Peter Kafka (source link below), Chris Cox confirmed that Facebook is making application software for the VR headset.
These applications will allow for a multitude of content and exciting new features. The coolest part is that users will be able to make content as well. This will make posting pictures and movies of the grandkids on Facebook a whole new and innovative experience. Instead of looking at a picture or movie, you could be transported inside the movie as if you were there and part of the event that is taking place. The caveat to this is that VR takes multiple cameras in order to create content. So at least in the near future, not many users will be able to take advantage of creating VR content. As time goes on that will hopefully change and it will become common place to transport yourself inside your favorite cat videos.
While the average user may not have the funds or ability to create cool and interesting VR content, your favorite musical artist will have the funds to create VR content. Imagine how neat it would be to be transported inside the video of a live show. Chris Cox noted in the interview that currently users, content creators, and others are simply posting a small portion of their experiences such as a picture of a video. However, with VR, users could send “a fuller picture.” We also lamented that when you wear VR headsets such as the Oculus you are “looking at the future, and it’s going to be awesome.”
Unfortunately, Mr. Cox did not mention a timeframe for when these applications and features would be made available. He also did not state how users would be able to create and upload the content. He explained that it would probably be some time before everyone has a VR headset. That seems to be a fair assessment, given the amount of equipment and production time that current VR movies take, the average user currently does not have the capability or the time needed to create VR content. Perhaps some of these applications will make that process much easier for common users of Facebook to create VR content. For now the grandkids and our cats will just have to wait. In the meantime, we can still enjoy the content created by various artist and media outlets. Make your way over to our Google Plus page and let us know how you intend to use this emerging technology to enhance your viewing experience, or you can leave your comments below.