You might just be looking into the future of social networking.
We were all a little baffled when Facebook purchased Oculus in March, a company developing virtual reality gaming device the Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift has been hailed for its cutting edge technology and tendencies to induce motion sickness, so if it had been purchased by say, Google or Microsoft, this would have made a lot more sense as these companies are known for their forays into experimental technological . But a Facebook purchase certainly raised a few eyebrows. Mark Zuckerberg had this though to say about the technology:
“Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.”
“This is really a new communication platform,” he continues. “By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”
By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life.
This seemed to herald something new that ‘always-connected’ technologies like Google Glass and other wearable technologies do not offer; a virtual reality social network, where you could interact with, visit and meet people as if they were right in front of us. It seems like the sci-fi stories we read when we were young, where people’s sense were fully plugged into a virtual world (à la the Matrix) aren’t so far fetched after all.
To take this one-step further towards reality, online virtual world/social network Second Life have just announced that they will be supported by Oculus. Although development is still very much conceptual and the company faces significant developmental hurdles, CEO Ebbe Altberg envisions a device for every single person, with Facebook like membership numbers on the network. Whilst over the last few years media attention has died down on this sprawling, absorbing world, the network still boasts a solid million or so active users per month. Virtual Reality could be the technology that keeps these networks relevant heading into a new decade of next-gen technologies.
With all these rapid developments and changes, Mark Zuckerberg’s purchase doesn’t seem so strange after all, and we could really be looking into the future of social networking. Combine this Google’s inexpensive virtual reality ‘hardware’ (aka cardboard box), and the future could be closer than we expect![Source: Forbes, Endgadget]