Facebook goes virtual reality

by Haadi Bakar
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Facebook is taking its 1.8 billion users to the next frontier in social networking; Virtual Reality.

The company earlier today announced Facebook Spaces, a new platform that lets users hang out with friends in a virtual world with the aid of VR headsets.

Users plugged into Facebook Spaces become cartoon avatars (which are customisable) and can chat, share photos and videos, and play virtual props with their friends’ avatars in this digital dimension.

The virtual world can also be changed. Users can choose to be inside an apartment, at a theme park or just floating across a beautiful countryside.

Facebook is harnessing the power of the Oculus Rift goggles and Touch controllers, which the company own, to get its users into the virtual realm and interact with others in ways that couldn’t be done on a 2D plain.

With Facebook’s new VR platform, our sci fi fantasies of gathering with friends inside a virtual world is becoming a reality. Think of it like The Matrix, Tron or the Holodeck from Star Trek.

Facebook Spaces was announced during the first day of Facebook’s annual developer conference, or F8, in San Jose, California.

The company is rolling out the beta version of Facebook Spaces today.

However, the platform may not be accessible to everyone. Users who want to experience Facebook Spaces right now will have to fork out US$600 for a set of Oculus Rift VR goggles and its Touch controllers, as well as a powerful PC to efficiently run the VR setup, which I think is going to be another expensive purchase.

Having none of these won’t get you to play virtual reality with your Facebook friends, of course.


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