Social Media Goes Sci-Fi
April 14th, 2014 by
Continuing the trend of the recent push towards wearable tech, Facebook recently announced that they have acquired the virtual reality company Oculus VR, for a price tag of around two billion dollars. If you have no idea what Oculus is, or does, their flagship product, the “Oculus Rift,” is depicted below:
If you thought Google Glass was intense, the Oculus Rift will most likely not be for you. Unlike the Glass, the Rift headset is specialized for HD gaming and full submersion into virtual reality. If the headset looks familiar, this isn’t the first time this type of technology has hit the consumer markets. The company started as a Kickstarter in 2012 with the goal of reviving the type of gaming headsets depicted in the 1990s Sinbad classic “First Kid.”
Even though the technology came and went over a decade ago, this doesn’t mean that history is destined to repeat itself. Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab has been conducting research on how virtual reality can improve education, help the environment, and teach altruism. Their findings on how we can utilize virtual reality simulators have drawn the attention of several social media companies, including Mark Zuckerberg.
Whether or not the gaming technology will cross into the social media world is yet to be determined. As of now, Facebook has not announced any specific plans for integrating the Oculus technology into their platform. However, Chaotic Moon Studios produced a concept video of what a Facebook themed virtual reality experience may look like. The video depicts the headset’s possible ability to create a user friendly shopping experience, similar to the one Facebook already uses.
Unfortunately, we probably won’t be seeing this kind of social media experience gain popularity for a while. Mark Zuckerberg called it a “long-term bet on the future of computing.” Until then, could you see yourself using the Rift instead of going to the mall?