The social-networking giant Facebook has been working relentlessly in fields outside of social media, be it in cases of better privacy, or technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency. Just a few days back, we’d informed you about Facebook working upon its own Augmented Reality glasses, a project named as ‘Orion’ and our collected leads on the same.
Today, we have an even more exciting news, of course straight up from Facebook. It seems like Facebook is reeling every inch of its expertise in widening its horizon from a social media platform to virtual realities.
In its virtual reality unit’s Oculus event, Facebook announced on Wednesday that it will be launching its own social VR platform called Horizon, which will let people create their own environment in virtual reality.
Horizon: Facebook’s VR Experience
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the virtual reality program, Horizon onstage at Oculus’ annual developer conference in San Jose, California.
Facebook describes Horizon as “an ever-expanding VR world” where people can interact with others as digital avatars. Users will be able to add features and elements to the world, which will constantly be growing with extraordinary creations made by Horizon citizens. They’ll also be able to build their own activities, all from the scratch without nay coding experience.
After the description given by Facebook on Horizon, people couldn’t help but connect it to be inculcations of products that came along in past and current virtual reality worlds, like Microsoft’s Minecraft, or ‘Second Life’ the VR program invented by Linden Labs in 2003. It also sounded much like the future described in ‘Ready Player One’.
Users will be able to interact with one another in a virtual town square, and then jump to different sections of the world using ‘magic-like’ portals, called telepods.
Facebook talked a lot about Horizon but didn’t quite explain exactly how it’ll work. It said that the product will launch as a closed beta test in 2020. If you’re interested, you can sign up here.
Facebook’s Long Struggle to Get into Virtual Reality
Just like augmented reality, Facebook has been trying relentlessly since many years to advance into virtual reality as a medium for aligning its mission of connecting people in the world. Unfortunately for Facebook, VR has never gone mainstream in the way Facebook once hoped.
Practically too, when people think of Facebook, the only level of involvement they can relate to is associating with their freinds’ post, or maybe watching a few videos. Also, people still refer VR for the only commonly used case ‘Gaming’. Facebook wants to change that and this probably is its last chance to do that and bring a more social element to virtual reality.
‘Horizon’ Isn’t Facebook’s 1st Chance on Virtual Reality
Horizon isn’t the first social VR app that Facebook has released. In 2017, the company unveiled a virtual reality app called Facebook Spaces that lets you hang out with friends and family and even take selfies in a virtual park or other environments.
However, Facebook’s Oculus said in a blog post it’s closing down Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms on Oct. 25. Also, Oculus already offers a feature called Oculus Rooms, which lets people spend time together in a digital space using VR.