Seven things we learned about Facebook’s VR strategy and the new Oculus...

Seven things we learned about Facebook’s VR strategy and the new Oculus Go

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While VR continues to grow in popularity, it’s still yet to have that breakthrough moment. That instance where the hardware and software involved coalesce, overcoming their consumer-points and ushering in something akin to the future depicted in Ready Player One.

Standalone VR headsets like Facebook’s new Oculus Go might not be the products that necessarily create that breakthrough. However, they might just be the ones that get us to the place where that breakthrough can be made possible by something else.

We spoke to Facebook’s Jason Juma-Ross, APAC Tech & Telecom Strategy about the company’s strategy surrounding the new headset. Here are our key takeaways from the chat.

Facebook see VR as the next big media format

Jason says that “For us, I think it’s a quite simple extension of where communication has been going in the last fifteen years of digital.”

“We started off with this communication picture in the world where people were using text only to describe their experiences and communicate with people and quite quickly that became a very visual medium and Facebook became a repository for photographic images.”

He says that “right now, we’re right in the middle of this shift towards video. All sorts of different types of video formats are becoming important to people’s experiences and sharing from Instagram video in your feed to the full-format stories videos to live video to 360.”

“Of course, the way that we see the next extension of that is virtual reality. You get to share your experience in a much lower-friction way because the whole environment is there to share and you can kind-of walk around in that environment.”

Oculus Go isn’t going to replace Gear VR

As put by Jason, “the roadmap for [VR] devices for a long time consisted of two form-factors.”

“On one end of the scale you’ve got the Rift, and the Rift is a great experience, those high-level units provide you with high-levels of freedom of movement. You’ve got touch controllers, you’ve got quite high-fidelity rich experiences and worlds that you can interact with.”

“Then, at the other end of the spectrum you’ve got headsets like the Samsung Gear VR that you put a mobile phone into. Those have the benefit of being much more mobile and a lower cost-of-ownership.”

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