Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a shocking appearance at the Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Unpacked event and announced the formation of a social virtual reality team alongside bringing 360 streaming technology to Samsung Gear VR.
Facebook’s VR team is comprised of Daniel James and Mike Booth. According to the Financial Times, both have backgrounds in the creation of 3D multiplayer experience. The new team will work with both Oculus and other Facebook teams to explore how Samsung’s gear virtual reality and social interaction could be intertwined.
Zuckerberg noted that Facebook will bring its dynamic streaming for 360 video to Gear VR. Gear VR is powered by Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014.Oculus VR headsets are expected to be shipped starting next month.
Facebook’s Oculus and Samsung have been closely working together on Samsung’s Gear VR. Facebook data had initially noted that more than 1 million hours of video on the Samsung VR had already been watched. Zuckerberg further noted that more than 200 games and apps are available for the platform in the Oculus store.
Users have also uploaded 20,000 videos in 360-degree format to Facebook after it introduced this feature in 2015. By interlinking the VR and social interaction, the company expects this to be a huge success.
According to an official Facebook blog post, the new team is mandated with the responsibility of exploring how people can connect and share using today’s VR technology and the long-term possibility as VR evolves into an essential computing platform.
The partnership between Facebook and Samsung can only bring good to the two companies as of now. Samsung has already offered Facebook and Oculus a connection point to a more casual VR consumer through their mobile ecosystem.
Oculus ’Rift will be hitting shelves at $599 and will require a powerful gaming PC to boot, because of this, not everyone will have an immediate access to this brand of virtual reality. The Gear VR, on the other hand, will retail at $99 and will be the first step to getting consumers intrigued and comfortable with this kind of technology.