Facebook to allow users to share their videos and photos in virtual reality

‘You’ll do it, Beyoncé will do it,’ Facebook’s chief product officer said

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The Independent Tech

Facebook videos and photos will one day be shared in virtual reality.

The company bought Oculus, which makes the most famous virtual-reality headset, for $2 billion last year. Since then, many have wondered what the company will do with the business.

The social network’s plan seems to be to allow its users to share films that can then be viewed in virtual reality, according to comments to Re/Code at a media conference.

“I mean, virtual reality is pretty cool. We’re working on apps for VR,” Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, said.

“When you’re in Facebook, you’re just sending around these bits of experience — a photo, a video, a thought,” he said. Virtual reality will allow people to be “sending a fuller picture”.

He cited example films that allowed users to feel as if they were inside a fighter jet or a Mongolian yurt. If users have a similar experience, they might be able to share everything that is going on around them in an immersive way, rather than just uploading one photo.

OculusRift.jpg
The Oculus Rift is the most talked about virtual reality headset — but it hasn't yet been released in a consumer version

The company hopes to allow everyone to be able to make and send the films — including normal users as well as Beyoncé, he said.

At the moment, virtual reality films require big camera rigs and lots of editing to make. But those in the industry hope that the technology to create the films as well as watch them will eventually become cheaper and easier to use.

Facebook has been pushing to become a central hub for videos — with uploads growing at a record pace and helping the site’s plan to eventually compete with YouTube.

Cox said the videos probably won’t come “for a while”. But he implied that the developments were being held back by the availability of the headsets, rather than Facebook’s work.

 

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