Punch Your Friends: Virtual Reality is Coming to Facebook
It was almost an inevitability that when Facebook acquired Oculus VR for an estimated $700 million last year (with $1.6 billion worth of stocks in Facebook also a part of the day) that a Facebook app would make its way to the Oculus Rift, the company’s virtual reality headset.
Thus far the Oculus Rift has only really been used for gaming, and has made plenty of waves in that medium by providing what many are branding the first truly impressive VR experience. If Facebook’s Head of Product Chris Cox is to be believed, then apps that appear on the headset will be similarly impressive, introducing a whole new way to explore Facebook and other applications that, he claims, will be awesome.
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“We’re working on apps for VR,” Cox said. “I mean, virtual reality is pretty cool.
“You realise 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, video, a thought.”
He added: “You’ll do it. Beyonce will do it”.
I’d wager that the Oculus Rift may have to look a little more glamorous before it adorns the head of Beyonce, but it’s still yet to reach its consumer version so there’s still time for aesthetic improvements to be made.
It’s unsure how Facebook and other apps will appear on the Oculus. They could either be displayed similarly to how they appear on mobile and tablet devices but with added functionality for the headset, or they could go another route entirely and provide a completely new social networking experience. I’m not entirely sold on the prospect of a more immersive social network, one which throws photographs of peoples babies, cats and cars at your head, though if it allowed me to deal a swift punch to a VR recreation of a friend/acquaintance every now and again when they post a status I vehemently disagree with, I could certainly get on board with it.
Cox stated that it would be a while before we get to take a look at what they have in store, but you can recreate the experience now by shouting “LIKE!” every time your friends say something you agree with.