Word has it that Facebook is working on a new virtual reality app that would let you view 360-degree videos on your phone. Facebook Inc. is vying to bring virtual reality to your phone. The social network is working on a stand-alone video app that would support 360-degree or “spherical” videos, people familiar with the matter said. The format, typically compiled from multiples cameras, allows users to change their viewing perspective by tilting their phones.
Earlier in the year Oculus VR parent company and social networking giant Facebook revealed that it would be bringing 360 degree spherical videos to its in the future.The company announce that owners of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) would be able to use the device to look around content shot by their friends as if they were really there. It’s now been suggested that, as part of this effort, Facebook is developing a brand new 360 degree video app that will be heading to smartphones in the future.
Oculus is set to release its first consumer version of its Oculus Rift headset early next year, with pre-orders launching later this year. It is a technology ripe with potential, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declaring that virtual reality would be the next ubiquitous communication platform. “One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people,” he said in a Facebook post after the company’s investment in Oculus.
The effort follows Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of VR film Oculus VR last year. It isn’t too much of a surprise, given that Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox in February said the company has been playing around with VR app creation. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also talked up VR during a Q&A this summer, calling it the “next major computing ad communication platform after phones”
“In the future we’ll probably still carry phones in our pockets, but think we’ll also have glasses on our faces that can help us out throughout the day and give us the ability to share our experience with those we love in completely immersive and new ways that aren’t possible today,”
Mobile 360 degree content is already growing in popularity. This year has seen Google add 360 video to its Youtube platform and more recently, allowed those using the Android version of the Youtube app to view this content using a Google Cardboard mobile HMD. Support for the iOS version of the app is also on the way. VRFocus will continue to follow every company’s work in this field, reporting back with the latest updates.