Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday that he thinks virtual reality has the potential to become the most social platform out there.
During Day 2 of its F8 developer conference, we learned just what Facebook means by that.
The company showed off two impressive experiments its working on, though others are in the cooker.
Two Facebookers were in the same virtual space, even though one was in San Francisco and the other 35 miles away in Menlo Park. Using Oculus Rift and Touch controllers, the virtual avatars could interact with one another and “see” each other in the room.
The first demo was a 360 photo sphere. Clear globes housed various landmarks, such as Piccadilly Circus and Big Ben. One of the avatars handed a sphere to the other, and by bringing the globe up to his face, the two were transported to a 360-degree view of the location.
Once there, the two began to interact in other ways. The goateed guy put a “mask” on his VR travel companion so he no longer looked like someone out of the Blue Man Group.
Using virtual colored pencils, they drew ties for one another.
I shudder as I write this, but the two then took a virtual selfie using a virtual selfie stick. Yes, one of the most annoying inventions ever is invading virtual reality.
Selfie stick loathing aside, it is a noteworthy technological feat and makes for a cool demonstration of what can be done in virtual reality.
After the photo was snapped, it was dropped into a Facebook mailbox, and shipped off to a profile page to be shared widely.
The two demos are still in the experimental phase, but it shows that Facebook is tinkering with new ways for us to interact with one another in manners that are appear, to me, more meaningful than writing on someone else’s wall.
We’ll see where these social experiments end up, but they seem extremely promising. Except for the selfie stick. That I can live without.
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