Facebook is about to jump into the virtual reality bandwagon as it is ready to give smartphone users 360-degree videos. The social media giant is now working on a stand-alone app that will give users a 360-degree, or a “spherical” view of videos. This will allow people to get more perspective and a new experience when checking out videos with their mobile devices. Just a mere tilt of the mobile device will grant people a different view while still looking at the same video.
Facebook is Now Making an App to Bring Virtual Reality to Phones
While Facebook states that the app is still in its early stages, it will be available for both Android and Apple devices. A report on The Wall Street Journal stated that the video will be typically compiled from multiple cameras or from varying angles. The video format will allow viewers to change their perspective by simply tilting their smartphones or other mobile devices compatible to the app.
The introduction of what appears to be Facebook’s VR app incorporates a virtual reality feel for the smartphone. Furthermore, it does this all without the assistance of a secondary peripheral, namely a virtual reality headset. Obtaining a VR headset would be the natural extension and option for the social media company as it had acquired the popular Oculus Rift VR headset about a year ago. However, they chose to create the app without the need for any additional devices or large VR headsets for that matter.
Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerberg stated in a post after acquiring the Oculus Rift that we would one day have augmented reality to be part of our daily lives. For billions of people, getting immersive with videos will be a stepping stone towards future technologies.
Earlier this year, Zuckerberg announced that they would one day support spherical video formats in the social media’s newsfeed. He stated users will be able to “move around inside the video,” and view the video from “different angles.”
While expectations are high for the upcoming virtual reality app, it should be noted that whatever it is that Facebook is cooking up in their next addition for their mobile application, it will be in a lesser immersive experience to what a VR headset can offer. However, the app is dedicated for a much larger audience as compared to those who want, and can afford, a virtual reality headset. It could also mean that this app is the social media company’s answer to the growing demand of the virtual reality industry.