The latest from Facebook is the ‘Facebook Spaces’ app, a digital meeting place for you and your friends. The concept is quite similar to any meeting of friends, but this is in the virtual world applying the VR technology. The development follows the acquisition of Oculus VR by Facebook about three years back.
The way the Facebook Spaces works is to create avatars out of the Facebook users and you can pick them from your Facebook Messenger contacts list. The photograph of the person can be used as it is or one can make some modifications to features like hairstyle or facial features. Once you have established this ‘company’ of friends and colleagues, the interaction can take place through the Messenger app itself and VR enables a 360 degree manipulation of the images and to make changes to the backdrop even.
The beta version has just been launched and can be accessed by users who already have Oculus Rift. It might be a while before it is available to all mainstream Facebook members. The app is still in its beta version.
Cost of Facebook Spaces high
According to reports, the hardware to avail this technology and facility might itself cost up to $1000 apart from the computer system to run it. Other experts, while welcoming the new attempt to integrate the real world with VR, also feel people’s excitement at participating in such an experience would be palpable. At the same time, there are still issues to be taken care of and that is one of the reasons why Facebook has decided to release the app in the beta version. Mainly, the immediate barrier is that all the participants should be logged into the Oculus platform. Facebook could also be working on the technological aspects that could make the overall experience more immersive so that it does not remain a one of attempt, but the users should keep coming back and socialise virtually often.
The revenue model for Facebook is also being observed by the analysts. Things like having billboards in the environment backdrop you choose could be one such suggestion. There could be others as well.
Though there is some way to go, but it is an interesting development.
Image: Oculus Facebook page