The next frontier of virtual reality (VR) is here. After three years of development following its Oculus acquisition, Facebook has announced its new VR product Spaces.
In Facebook Spaces, the social media giant combines social interactions with a 3-D virtual reality space. Anyone who owns an Oculus can login via Facebook to connect with other friends who also own the VR system. With this, there's a 3-D space where people's personalized avatars can interact with one another via chat, drawing or watching 360 videos. Spaces also enables users to make video calls on Messenger and take avatar selfies.
Through Spaces, Facebook users have the potential to not leave their house in the future to hang out with friends and family. This would likely help people who live across the country from one another or when people are sick and don't want to get anyone infected.
Spaces is the first product of substance Facebook has integrated into its social media platform. While Spaces is currently only available on Oculus Rift, Facebook hopes to expand it to other VR platforms. Facebook's product manager, Mike Booth, commented to TechCrunch on this issue. He said, "We eventually want to be on all the VR platforms."
While some may wonder about whether or not this product offering will be available on smartphone-based VR systems, Facebook has confirmed that the technology is not quite there yet. At an earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg expressed it will likely be another decade before the full potential of VR is a smoothed-out process.