Facebook says it is developing Virtual Reality apps

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Facebook is apparently developing virtual reality (VR) applications, in collaboration with Oculus VR, the company Facebook bought last year and pioneer in the virtual reality video game arena.

 

Facebook’s increasing focus on virtual reality

Chris Cox, speaking on stage at the Code/Media conference in Laguna Nigel, California, discussed how promising virtual reality is and how Facebook is increasing its interest and efforts in the future.

“I mean, virtual reality is pretty cool. We’re working on apps for VR,” he said to Recode’s Peter Kafka.

“You realize, when you’re in it, that you’re looking at the future, and it’s going to be awesome. When you’re in Facebook, you’re just sending around these bits of experience — a photo, a video, a thought,” said Cox, while with virtual reality, you could be “sending a fuller picture”.

Unfortunately, Cox didn’t reveal much details about the forthcoming apps, such as how they would work or when they might be launched to the public.

“We’re a long way away from everyone having those headsets,” he said. In fact, most virtual reality headsets available commercially are focused purely on games, though there has more interest lately from companies such as Sony and Microsoft.

Virtual reality is a natural fit for Facebook

Facebook Virtual Reality - Oculus Rift

Will Facebook’s virtual reality apps catch on?

Virtual reality app development seems like a natural fit for Facebook, which acquired Oculus in July last year for a cool $2 billion. When Facebook completed the sale, the social networking company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said there were opportunities beyond games in communications, medicine and education.

“Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction,” he said in a Facebook post. “But the Internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones.”

Last month, Oculus launched a new subsidiary company called Oculus Story Studio, that will be producing movies aimed at virtual reality users. Oculus has also announced a video watching program for its Rift headset, called Oculus Cinema, that puts the user in a virtual movie theatre.

Are you a virtual reality user? Do you think it will ever become as mainstream as regular video games? As always, let us know in the comments below whether you think Facebook’s virtual reality apps will be a hit with consumers…

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