In March of 2014 Facebook negotiated to purchase Oculus VR, a company responsible for manufacturing virtual reality headsets. Officials at the social media site want to offer members an experience comparable to hanging out with their friends in person even when they are simply viewing a friend’s photos. An Oculus VR official has stated that Facebook could take their technology and provide its members with the ability to attend online parties with other members.
Aside from online parties, the technology provided by Oculus VR could allow Facebook to make their games and other applications much more interactive. According to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, people spend 40% of their online time playing games and 40% communicating with other members through the site.
After conquering the mobile world, Facebook began working on these plans to expand into 3D technology. They are hoping to roll out a product similar to Google Glasses, but ultimately more acceptable and less controversial.
In December of 2014 Facebook purchased the Nimble VR and 13th Lab, which they plan to use to offer members of the social media site the chance to play hands on 3D games. This technology will allow people to physically touch virtual reality objects without even having the need for goggles, gloves or any other type of controlling device.
As of February of 2015 Facebook has been creating applications that will work in conjunction with their virtual reality enabled headsets. Users will reportedly be able to create content for the headsets. Not just meant for the average person, Facebook is looking to offer content created by celebrities as well.
Facebook is reportedly developing an application that will allow users to have the virtual reality experience of flying a Blue Angel aircraft. Other plans include virtual reality job listings as well.
One of the reasons that Facebook is allegedly attempting to implement this technology is that after 10 years of going strong, younger members are beginning to lose interest in the social media site as many of this generation’s parents and even grandparents are now using Facebook themselves, making it much less desirable to younger members than ever before.
Entrepreneurs and retailers may soon be able to use Facebook to present their products through virtual reality presentations, which could change the face of online retail sales and net Facebook even more money. Talk is that advances like this will lead to Facebook expanding even more than it already has in the past, much the way Google expanded so far beyond simply being a search engine.
The new applications being created for use with a Facebook virtual reality headset (which they will eventually be branded with the social media site’s name and logo) include viewing, marketing and sales applications.
Virtual reality will likely eventually allow Facebook to provide its members with the ability to meet “face to face” with doctors as well as travel to virtual locations and to watch various sports events. Face recognition and image processing are also likely in Facebook’s future as well.
One feature that Facebook is definetly planning on rolling out in the somewhat near future is paper, a feature that will make members news feeds easier to navigate. It takes content from other sources and customizes the content for individual members.
For all the planning and preparing Facebook is doing to make virtual reality services available to members, it will likely be quite a while before we see the fruits of their labor. Experts have said that the absolute earliest Facebook members may see virtual reality as part of the site’s services is in mid – 2015, but more likely it will be sometime next year or later before virtual reality apps are an everyday thing on Facebook.