Facebook unveils new VR hardware, software, social capabilities and content for Oculus
Facebook has released new hardware, software and content it expects to bring more people into VR and expand the ways people work, play and connect.
The announcements, made at the Oculus OC4 event, include a new headset, app-building tools, new Rift software, social features and new content from big-name partners like Pixar and Marvel.
Hardware highlights include:
- Oculus Go (pictured): a standalone headset that does not require snapping in a phone or attaching a cable.
- Oculus for Business: a solution for businesses looking to integrate VR for workplace training, collaboration and retail sales.
- Rift Core 2.0: the first major redesign of the core Rift sofware experience includes a Dash and a redesigned Oculus Home.
New social products include:
- Venues: a brand new experience letting users watch concerts and catch premieres of new movies with thousands of people.
- 3D posts on Facebook: a native 3D media type in Facebook News Feed.
- Live 360 video in Facebook Spaces: this will bring Live 360 content from Facebook into social VR. Users will be able to view Facebook Live 360 videos in Spaces to feel like they’re anywhere in the world with friends in real-time.
- 3D entertainment in Spaces: starting with animated short stories, users will be able to consume content created specifically for VR.
There will also now be an ability to share and comment on VR content within the headset.
New content includes:
- Coco: Pixar’s first VR experience.
- Stranger Things experience: tying into Netflix’s hit show, Face Your Fears is a VR experience taking users to ‘The Upside Down.’
- Blade Runner memory lab: the second of three Blade Runner: 2049 experiences.
- Marvel Powers United VR – Thor reveal: Thor was revealed as a new playable character in the cast of Marel Powers United VR.
Most of the new pieces of tech and content will begin in early 2018.
“We’ve seen activity on Facebook evolve from text-only, through photographs, video and Live,” says Will Easton, MD of Facebook and Instagram ANZ.
“VR and AR are natural extensions of this,” he says.