Facebook’s F8 developer’s conference has been bursting with exciting news about the future of VR. We’ve already seen their plans for the development of Oculus and their exciting open-source 360 camera, now they’ve unveiled a demo of their social platform in VR and it’s mind blowing. It’s been no secret that Facebook have been optimising the platform for VR since they acquired Oculus back in 2013, but this is the first time we’ve had a glimpse at how a social platform would work in virtual reality.
The demo displays two people communicating over different networks, live. Each user can interact with the other via voice chat, and hand and head movements. The technology seems to be advanced enough that there is no lag and communication felt (almost) as natural as them being in the same room together.
Whilst in this social virtual world, you can change the setting or environment by placing an orb on your head which seems to act as a type of teleportation method. There’s also a host of other cool features, like being able to draw and create together.
As with any kind of real-time interaction we know that low latency is the key to an enjoyable experience. The demo seemed to display none at all but who knows what sort of high speed connection they were working with. However, if this manages to translate into a similar experience with no lag on a typical household internet connection, then we’re set to see a revolutionary method of digital social interaction emerge.
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