Mark Zuckerberg Talks About the Future VR and 360-Degree Video
With an unexpected appearance at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked Event at MWC, Mark Zuckerberg took time out of his busy schedule to talk with the audience in Barcelona about the potential of virtual reality and 360-degree video content.
Zuckerberg was extremely proud of the fact that the Oculus Store now has over 200 applications and games available to users. In addition, more than one million total hours of video have now been watched using Samsung’s Gear VR headset, powered by Oculus.
When Facebook acquired Oculus two years ago, there was speculation about how the social media giant would help shape the direction of virtual reality. Zuckerberg seems to believe there is more to the future of VR than just gaming.
“VR is going to be the most social platform,” said Zuckerberg. He believes in many ways that it’s going to be the most social platform. By combining great hardware, such as the Gear VR to deliver the best mobile VR experience, with the best software from Facebook and Oculus, users can get a lot of out their VR devices.
Facebook is continuing to work on new and innovative ways to develop interesting virtual reality experiences for users and has created a Social VR team that is focused on that task. Statistics show that around 20,000 360-degree videos are already uploaded to Facebook.
In addition, Facebook has developed a new dynamic streaming technology, which ensures users will be able to experience faster and smoother VR video playback. While quick buffering is important on all videos, it is especially crucial that videos seen through a VR headset are of great quality to maintain a sense of immersion.
Zuckerberg’s fascination for virtual reality and 360-degree video is apparent to anyone who listens to him talk. When discussing this technology, he mentioned the first steps a baby takes as an important milestone to record. In the past, people would take a regular photo of their child walking and write down the date and time on the back of the picture. Now people can record videos, but in the future, they can transform these videos into a 360-degree experience that is just like being there for the real event.
“There are lots of other challenges that we need to solve to create great VR experiences,” said Zuckerberg. “Facebook, with Oculus, are committed to this for the long term.”
These videos are not just potentially useful for family memories, but for watching sports games or concerts through a virtual reality headset. Zuckerberg acknowledges there are still a lot of challenges that need to be solved in order to create great VR experiences, but is confident in Facebook’s commitment alongside Oculus to make it happen.