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Facebook Focused on Pushing vr Forward

VR is in the process of changing life as we know it, and the limit of this technology has yet to be seen.

Facebook purchased the virtual reality company Oculus in 2014. Since then, Facebook has focused on pushing VR forward and expanding its reach into the world of simulated entertainment. 

Oculus has produced gaming products designed to be used without a personal computer or console since 2012. While virtual reality was previously used mainly in gaming applications, companies such as Facebook are increasingly using this technology for other purposes. 

In September of 2020, Facebook and Oculus announced the release of the Oculus Quest 2, an ambitious VR headset designed to make the world of high-quality virtual interaction available to the average consumer. Not only can you put yourself into an entirely different world of a game, but you can also meet and connect with other users around the globe. 

In May of 2020, the Oculus division of Facebook released “Facebook Horizons,” a “new social media VR world.” It boasts a bustling town square where people can meet new and old friends. From there, users can explore, play games, and create new, custom experiences. 

Since then, Facebook has brought all of its VR development under one title: Facebook Reality Labs. The type of VR they develop is more geared toward social experiences than hardcore gaming. As of March, almost 10,000 of Facebook’s employees are working on developing virtual and augmented reality products and programs. 

This comes as no surprise, considering the state of the world and Facebook’s continual attempts to stay on top of trends in technology. Virtual reality offers something that’s been extremely limited for most people lately–human contact. It’s a hot commodity that consumers are willing to pay a high price for.

Mark Zuckerberg seeks to use VR to create a new kind of social media platform. Virtual reality allows for a nearly authentic feeling of presence that social media just can’t offer, and Facebook is doing everything it can to use this technology to its advantage. 

It also helps Facebook’s case that many of those consumers are already familiar with its technology. Those unfamiliar with or possibly even wary of the world of VR will find it easier to approach through channels they are already comfortable with. 

However, this may pose a problem for those who want to use the latest VR technology without engaging with Facebook. The newest Oculus devices will require a login for the website. By taking over Oculus, the social media conglomerate has made it more challenging to use VR without potentially putting their data at risk. 

Facebook’s long-term goal regarding virtual reality is not only for fun and games, however. The social media giant also seeks to help alleviate climate change with this advancing technology. With the ability to visit friends or business partners worldwide without getting on a plane, fewer people will travel, and fewer fossil fuels will be emitted. 

There are good and bad things about Facebook’s level of involvement in virtual reality. While the company’s investment in VR is currently making it possible for the mainstream consumer to access it, it’s important to ask why they are so dedicated to advancing the technology. 

With Facebook’s track record of data selling and online behavior monitoring, it’s concerning to think of the level of personal information they could attain through VR programs.

VR is in the process of changing life as we know it, and the limit of this technology has yet to be seen. 

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