While Facebook’s F8 event on Tuesday was about many things, Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for mixed reality was among the most interesting things announced at the event. Notably, the social media networking giant announced its Facebook Spaces VR app, which has virtual-reality hangout spaces much like Oculus Rooms announced last year. The app is currently in beta and is compatible with Oculus Rift headsets.
With Facebook Spaces app, users with Oculus Rift headset and Touch controllers can join up to three people in the virtual playground and perform various activities together such as watching videos or clicking pictures. The company has already released the beta version of the app, which can be downloaded from Oculus Store.
While users can see each other in form of avatars, which are customisable, they can import videos from their own feed and even try mixed-reality experiences by video-calling people using messenger app’s video chat feature. You can also change the surroundings within the Facebook Spaces app (one major advantage of being inside virtual reality environment) and draw three-dimensional objects using drawing tools as well.
“We want Facebook Spaces to be a comfortable place for everyone. You have control of your experience, including the ability to pause at any time. Pausing moves you into a quiet space where you can take a break away from other people and activities. You can also choose to mute your friends or remove them from your space. Facebook Spaces is all about connecting with friends and family that you know and trust, and we’re committed to making VR a positive place for all,” Rachel Franklin, Facebook’s head of social VR, said in a blog post.
Users can invite their Facebook friends to join them in this virtual experience and even enjoy 360-degree videos with them while hanging out with their avatars. It now seems clear that Facebook’s Oculus acquisition was more about bringing the social element into virtual reality than anything else. However, as long as enjoyable experiences are created with this convergence, nobody should be complaining.