In an effort to seemingly combine a couple of the top tech trends of the year, Facebook will soon be allowing users of its Oculus Rift virtual reality system to livestream themselves inside VR to their Facebook friends of followers as avatars.
The Facebook Live functionality will be arriving on the Spaces app, which is still in beta. Users will be able to go live to all their friends and can position a virtual camera to capture their experience. A lot of things will look familiar to a traditional Live broadcast for the streamer, but things like physically reaching out and grabbing a comment to show those watching are things only possible in VR.
Facebook Spaces may be just a preview of what CEO Mark Zuckerberg 10-year vision for virtual reality at the company, but with Messenger video calls and Facebook Live broadcasts already coming to the app, it’s clear that the company isn’t shying away from building a bridge between its loftier VR bets and its central 2D service which now boasts 2 billion users.
It may be a while before every feature sees a VR counterpart though.
“There are things that aren’t going to map one-to-one, but I think in a lot of ways Facebook is sort of the 2D metaverse,” Facebook VR guru Mike Booth told TechCrunch. “It’s a huge network of people, places and things so it’s a question of how we present those things in VR and how we let people access them and interact with them, but it’s also huge so there’re a lot of things to figure out and explore.”
To Booth, bringing Facebook Live to Spaces is just as much about “evangelism” as anything else, allowing larger groups of friends to get exposed to the app and virtual reality in general.