While the Oculus Connect 4 opening keynote could easily be converted into a drinking game – take a shot every time someone said “coming next year” – all snark aside, there are three announcements that could prove essential to VR going mainstream.
The announcement of the standalone headset is something the VR/HMD industry desperately needs, especially at the under $200 price point. Granted it won’t be as great as the Rift, I am told, it is an incredible leap forward to making these immersive experiences more accessible to others besides early adopters throwing nearly a $1,000 to make a VR rig.
This native for VR wearable will make life easier for everyone, from content creators to newbie consumers.
Becoming available to developers in November, these will go on sale after the holidays allegedly “early” next year.
It can’t come soon enough and there is a known rush for these types of standalone headsets coming to market.
Facebook Live 360 + Facebook Spaces
Everyone knows that 360 video is the easiest way to get into VR (yes, we know, technically it’s not true VR, but no one cares but us nerds) or immersive storytelling, it’s still a challenge to get people to easily understand what the heck we are producing, let alone having them experience it.
Many of us have been waiting for the pivotal moment when Facebook, owner of Oculus, tweaks its newsfeed to better include these immersive experiences bringing a fraction of the 2 billion monthly active users into the immersive space. A small percentage of those users would be a huge flood of consumers.
This announcement that allows Facebook Live 360 producers to offer their immersive streams as live backdrops for Facebook Spaces could be a feature that will bring people in. Maybe not the killer moment, but one sweet enough to entice people to take a chance on that immersive VR thing they have been hearing about.
Facebook 3D Posts
Although 360 videos are the gateway, photogrammetry (and eventually videogrammetry) are the next natural step for those getting into this space. But sharing a 3D asset you made is really damn hard and annoying.
Yes, we have SketchFab, but that isn’t perfect. And, well, it doesn’t have the users and social impact that Facebook brings.
So the announcement to enable you to share 3D objects via the newsfeed and let people 1) rotate/view the model through an easy interface 2) allow you to place the 3D model in the real world like Holo or Snapchat is pretty impressive.
More shares on Facebook means more engagement, which means more users naturally dipping their toes into the immersive waters as consumers of the growing content.
One more feature that isn’t a breakthrough, per say, but truly essential is the ability to report and block users (aka trolls) across the immersive platform. For VR to grow, we need a space where people don’t have to worry about being harassed or assaulted in this new emerging space.
Although most of this stuff is coming out next year (DRINK!), it’s great to see that it is coming.
#OC5 is going to be great.