Mark Zuckerberg has no doubts that Virtual Reality is the next big thing. Earlier this year, the ambitious CEO said in a statement that Facebook would spend about $3 billion over the next decade in Virtual Reality industry, whose total market value is expected to reach a whopping $120 billion by the end of 2020. Zuckerberg’s intent is to bring VR out of the mythical mist in the hands of the general users. Last month, during the F8 Developers conference in San Jose, Facebook announced its brand new VR platform which will help people around the world to interact and hangout with each other virtually. Put simply, you’ll be able to create and customize your own avatar, and invite your friends for virtual hangouts and interaction sessions. The new VR-based platform is called Facebook Spaces.
Watch this video to visualize the idea of Facebook Spaces:
Using Facebook Spaces, you can call your friends in Facebook messenger app and record 360 video of the complete session. Interacting through Facebook Spaces is just like the real world hangouts. You can show your friends different objects and stuff, show them pictures in a virtual reality slide show and much more.
The new VR products by Facebook is part of the company’s 10-year masterplan which was announced last year. At the pinnacle of the plan is a connectivity revolution, including Augmented Reality apps, VR products, lasers and Internet of Things.
Facebook Spaces beta is currently rolling out for Facebook-owned Oculus Rift Touch virtual reality hardware. As soon as you wear a VR headset, Facebook Spaces gives you tools like photos, videos, 360-degree videos, selfie sticks and pen. You could actually pick up the pen and write and draw stuff on thin air.
Mark Zuckerberg also announced a new platform by Facebook which would allow developers to build Augmented Reality apps and features using Facebook app’s camera. This platform will let developers to build AR-based social app lenses (think Snapchat), 3D art, special effects and editing apps. Zuckerberg, who is often criticized in the media for copycatting Snapchat’s features and technology, also said that the goal of the AR efforts of Facebook is to make revolutionary glasses, which will display virtual objects in the real world. Several companies including Magic Leap and Apple are working on this idea.
You can learn more about Magic Leap and its ambitious projects in this video:
Facebook’s CEO also teased an upcoming VR-based games platform that will allow developers to make virtual gaming maps and objects in the real world. For example, using Facebook’s platform, developers will be able to make a cool virtual chessboard which will hover over the real, wooden tables.
Mark Zuckerberg practically sounded the death-knell of TV in the F8 conference. He said that very soon, people won’t need a TV to watch the content they love. They’ll be able to watch anything just by projecting media from their smartphone camera over blank walls.
“We don’t need a physical TV. We can buy a $1 app ‘TV’ and put it on the wall and watch it,” said the 32-year old CEO in an interview ahead of his keynote address.