Virtual reality (VR), also referred to as immersive multimedia is a computing platform that will undoubtedly redefine communication in the current world. It is a technology that uses the basis of computing to simulate scenarios. The idea of simulation started off as science fiction but thanks to the dedication of man and the thirst for achievement, VR will soon be accessed by the masses. What’s even more promising is the fact that Facebook is now involved in developing Virtual reality further and spreading different virtual reality projects to many people around the world.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been in the news of late because of his quest to improve Virtual reality and promote its use. Zuckerberg has been quoted describing the technology as the next major computing and communication platform. The Facebook CEO had given people hope when he said that the masses will be able to use VR in a few years to come. However, recently in an interview, he said that the transformation would take longer than it had been earlier predicted. In an interview, Zuckerberg said that it may take up to 15 years before the whole world gets access to the computer-simulated reality.
In line with the heavy involvement of Facebook in promoting VR, the company spent a fortune to acquire Oculus VR–a manufacturer of virtual reality headsets– in 2014. The Oculus headset, called the Rift, is held to the face with a strap, and it connects to a PC via a cable. Facebook and Samsung have also partnered to come up with the Gear VR headset. The Gear VR uses some Samsung smartphones as a screen. To promote VR announced that a pre-order of the new Samsung Galaxy will be accompanied with a free Gear VR headset. This way, Facebook will compete with Google, which has its VR cardboard kit. The Cardboard is compatible with phones running on Google platform and iPhones. Google’s Cardboard kit has no strap, and it is meant to be held over the face using hands.
Facebook has formed a Social VR team that is responsible for looking into the course of social interactions in Virtual reality. The team is expected to focus on how people can use VR to interact and link up. Besides, Facebook’s Social VR team will ensure that users of the technology get the best out of it even as it undergoes several changes in the future. Oculus and other technical groups of Facebook will work hand in hand with the VR team to ensure the project is implemented.
Facebook’s Virtual Reality project might take some time to reach everyone because of the hiccups in the development of the technology. Challenges facing the VR technology are from different angles. First, there is the challenge of setting up the necessary software and acquiring the required hardware to offer VR simulations to many users. Furthermore, the use of equipment such as specialized headsets will compromise the utilization of the technology. The training required before one can use the immersive multimedia will not be many people’s favorite. And then there are health hazards associated with VR technology. Many people experience nausea, motion sickness and discomfort.