After last year’s multi-billion dollar acquisition of Oculus’ Virtual Reality platform by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), doubts had begun creeping into the minds of investors, observers and commentators alike, regarding the judiciousness of such an acquisition. Facebook, perhaps compelled by the anxiety of its investors regarding the fruitfulness of Oculus’ acquisition, has come out with its future plans with Oculus.
Oculus’s Chief Scientist Michael Abrash and Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer, Mike Schroepfer, utilized the second day of its Annual developer conference to clarify on Facebook’s Oculus plans. The basic premise and the idea on which Facebook and its user community thrives is the principle of ‘shared experiences’. Facebook explained that with Oculus VR and its integration into the social networking platform, the ‘shared experiences’ principle can be taken to a whole new level.
The bets are laid on the fact that, in the future, VR videos will provide users an immersive experience into other’s lives, thus enabling a person’s real experience to be shared in a 3D virtual space. This could only be seen as a logical progression for Facebook to transform the quality and content of its social network.
Facebook has to constantly re-invent and re-shape the user experience of its community and therefore, the explanations from Facebook have come at an opportune moment to indicate the future trajectories that Facebook intends to walk upon. At the same time, Facebook, has in one swoop, also laid down a more compelling business case for virtual reality players by opening a new window of opportunity for them. Of late, the VR platforms were inching closer to the danger of being relegated to the narrow arena of games and entertainment. Although, the idea and the rationale for the acquisition of Oculus VR may seem clearer to investors, it may still take some more time before Facebook comes out with an Oculus VR integrated social platform.
As Facebook’s CTO, Shroepfer explained, it may be some time before the masses could be taken to virtual reality. The current challenge for Facebook, however, is to create a ‘minimum bar of presence’, so that its subsequent users make sense of the platform when it launches. This will ensure that users are able to easily and conveniently adopt and integrate it into their lives. Moreover, the cameras that can record VR videos cannot be currently manufactured at price points acceptable to the average consumer. Lack of an enabling ecosystem, therefore, has put Facebook on a cautious tread in its ambitious plans of marrying virtual reality with our everyday lives.
The video embedded below is of over 1 hours long, so better skip to 42:00th minute.
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