Facebook is coming to the VR world, and it’s going to be way different than your News Feed
When you use the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift VR headset that launches on March 28, you won’t find Facebook’s fingerprints anywhere. In its first iteration, the futuristic headset is mainly intended to be used with games.
There’s no Netflix, nor any Facebook integration to be found.
That doesn’t mean you won’t see Facebook in VR one day, of course.
As part of a behind-the-scenes look at the Rift’s development, Wired talked to Oculus VP of product Nate Mitchell about how Facebook integration was experimented with in early prototypes of the headset.
The Rift’s Home environment is where you select games and apps to open. It’s designed to make you feel like you’re lounging in the middle of a posh living room. And it’s in Home where the first ever VR integration of Facebook was tested — an early prototype of Home used photos from a user’s Facebook profile to adorn virtual picture frames hanging on the walls, according to Mitchell.
“We haven’t gone with any of that stuff for launch,” he told Wired, “but there’s a huge opportunity to bring people’s experience outside VR into VR, and we’re going to look to push the boundaries of that in the future.”
So expect Facebook to show up in the Rift’s Home environment eventually. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has talked about Facebook’s prospects for VR at length since the social network bought Oculus for $2 billion two years ago.
Zuckerberg clearly sees VR as what could potentially be the future of how people interact on Facebook. “You are playing Ping Pong or interacting with someone and the technology needs to be fast enough so that when you do something, it triggers and sends that action all the way across the Internet to someone else,” he recently said.