How does social media have anything to do with virtual reality? That’s the question many of us were asking when the tech giant Facebook purchased Palmer Lucky’s Oculus back in March of 2014.
While both platforms provide users with rich, enticing content, it just didn’t seem as if you could mash the two mediums together to create something new. To many, this acquisition was similar to Boeing buying Princess Cruises; it just wasn’t going to fly. Yesterday at the F8 developer conference however, Facebook got the opportunity to demo the beginnings of a really cool merger between social media and VR, and showed what kind of applications you could develop for a flying cruise ship.
By using two Rift headsets in completely different locations, the company showed off the ability for friends to travel together to distant and far off lands, all with the touch of a button. By utilizing the upcoming touch controllers for the Oculus Rift headset, users can select different globes which teleport them to different locations around the world. The software creates a floating head avatar for you using the cameras included with the system, and lets you doodle on and modify your character to your liking. The demo showed off how easy it is to travel to museums, monuments, and other places of historical interest, all the while enjoying the experience with your friends. And if the experience wasn’t enough, you can even take photos with a virtual selfie stick and post them directly to Facebook, as demonstrated by the company’s CTO Mike Schroempfer at the event.
While taking a selfie in VR might seem a little weird at first, the demo uses 360 degree images, which allow you to take shots from almost any angle. As the ability to take 360 degree photos moves into the hands of consumers, it’s getting easier and easier to select from locations of almost anywhere in the world, which would allow users to travel to distant locations in the comfort of their own home. Especially since Google’s photo sphere technology is being used more and more on new devices with stellar mobile cameras, it shouldn’t be long before the range of visitable locations is near 1:1.
Facebook’s technology seems promising, and shows off a whole slew of new use cases for virtual reality headsets. Microsoft have demonstrated a similar technology with their Hololens augmented reality headset, which features live video conferencing with those also using the tech. As both VR and AR move to fill the same use case, we may see a sort of merger between the two technologies in the future, which could lead to some seriously cool experiences.
Will you use this feature? Would you use a selfie stick in virtual reality?
via: Android Authority
Image Credit: Tech Crunch