Facebook launches 360 degrees streaming video for Samsung Gear VR, invest in “social VR”

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By Larry Banks

Facebook’s interest in virtual reality (VR) has reached a crescendo this week, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the company’s new direction in VR onstage at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

He talked specifically about efforts to bring a more social VR experience to the platform through a partnership with the Korean hardware company.

In a related blog post, the company said it would bring its streaming 360 video to Samsung’s Gear VR. The article points out that millions of people are already using more than 20,000 360 videos already available, and that having streaming on the device brings a whole new level of potential for interacting with others.

And because there has already been over a million hours of video watched via the Gear VR, according to Facebook, it’s clear that the social media firm believes this will be an important advancement for how people use VR.

“Pretty soon, we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re right there in person”, Zuckerberg said onstage.

The firm has created a Social VR team that will work closely with Facebook’s subsidiary Oculus to build new and novel uses of VR relating to social aspects of the tech.

VR is only just beginning to see consumer adoption, but Zuckerberg and co. clearly are confident about where it will lead:

“Our work in VR is still early, and there are a lot of hardware and software challenges that we still need to solve. But we’re encouraged by our progress to date, and we’re excited to continue building VR technology that gives people new ways to connect and share”.

SOURCE: Facebook.

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