Facebook virtual reality apps could be 'revolutionary'

Facebook is developing virtual reality software, the technology could revolutionize the way people work and play online.

If the reports that Facebook is developing virtual reality software are accurate, the technology could revolutionise the way people work and play online.

That's the word coming from analysts who were intrigued after a Facebook executive told Re/code that the company is working on virtual reality apps.

"Now this is a big deal," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "It's potentially a revolutionary extension of the Facebook user interface and experience. Think about what you could possibly do with this ... A celebrity could give you a tour of their home and it would seem like you're with them -- right next to them."

Virtual reality software also could enable users to experience a concert from the best seat in the house, with audio and video clarity, Olds said. When the user turns her head, she can see to the sides of her and hear the music from a different angle.

So far, these are suppositions. Facebook has not laid out its plan for putting virtual reality to work. The company didn't respond to a request for comment.

In March 2014, the social network spent $2 billion to buy Oculus VR , a company that makes virtual reality gaming goggles. Though Oculus hadn't released a consumer product, the headset was designed to give users a 100-degree 3D field of view.

At the time the acquisition was announced, Facebook said it planned to extend Oculus' reach from gaming to new verticals, including education, communications and media. Now Facebook may be putting that $2 billion investment to work.

On Tuesday, Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, speaking at the Code/Media 2015 conference in Laguna Niguel, California, said the company is working on a virtual reality project.

"I mean, virtual reality is pretty cool. We're working on apps for VR," Cox said, according to Re/code. He added that instead of Facebook users posting comments, photos and video, they could create their own virtual reality content.

Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said if Facebook can make virtual reality work smoothly, it could be a game changer for the way people use the Internet.

"Like Google, Facebook invests part of its profits in off-center projects with potential, even if it's a long walk back to the main product," Gottheil said. "Oculus is out there, but if you have Oculus, then you need software. You can see virtual reality hardware and software as part of a social play both in terms of productivity applications, like virtual meetings and classroom,s and in terms of entertainment applications like multiplayer games."

Facebook wouldn't be the first company to try to bring virtual reality mainstream, and it's a tough challenge to take on, he said.

"There have long been amazing demos, but either the experience itself was too limiting or using it for a long time was too uncomfortable, or both," Gottheil said. "It's hard to make it good enough and to make the experience rich enough to offset the discomfort and isolation of wearing the gear."

However, with the right equipment and software, virtual reality could become an immersive experience that goes beyond what is available today.

"What we'll see first is consumption, where users select experiences that have been created by others," said Olds. "Down the road, we'll see the ability for users to create their own experiences and record them to some virtual reality standard so that it can be played back by others ... Now that's a big deal."

Olds added that he expects widespread adoption to take five to 10 years.

"I think if this works for Facebook, it will allow them to keep growing their user base and become more interesting as the years go by," said Jeff Kagan, an independent analyst. "The question is if it will it pay off. Will it make sense? Will they be using this in the future? Or will this just be one of those ideas that they try but it doesn't work and they throw it away after a while?"

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Data has the power to build or burn brands

A brand can be severely wounded by use or misuse of any of its assets and you could say data has the greatest power of all to inflict damage.

Lucy Acheson

Head of data strategy and customer experience, LIDA

Totto and your inorganic future

At Cannes Lions this year we’ve been treated to many artificial intelligence (AI) insights. It’s one of the major discourses of our time.

Richard Brett

CEO, opr

Personas of one and the rise of ‘always there’ marketing

I’ve got some bad news. The ‘always on’ marketing approach that many companies have only just fully implemented is already out of date.

Nigel Roberts

Founding partner and strategy lead, Yell

Promotion is difficult. You should be able to do it. Sometimes it turns out bad, and when you turn to professionals, it turns out well - ...

Jordan Samuil

Village Roadshow partners with Lion for pourage rights and promotional partnership

Read more

This is very good news for Australian SMEs as ActiveCampaign is an very powerful marketing automation / email marketing tool that costs a...

Lawrence

SMB marketing automation provider sets up Asia Pac HQ in Sydney

Read more

Thanks for the info! If you are looking for commercial real estate in Mumbai, visit us at Jagaha.com! We have over 20,000 verified proper...

Gizelle

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Completely agree! For the best commercial properties in Mumbai, visit our website - Jagaha!

Gizelle

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Carisoprodol is used for treatment of pain.so it has some amount of drug use it carefully . Get its complete usage and prescription from ...

jensons henry

CMO profile: The strategy behind Cash Converters brand and customer experience reboot

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in