IT&Software

A Closer Look at Facebook Spaces, the Company's First Social VR App

A Closer Look at Facebook Spaces, the Company's First Social VR App

Spaces sheds light on Facebook's vision of the future of social media, which involves interacting with your friends in a virtual environment.

Spaces was also showcased previous year at the Oculus Connect conference, where Mark Zuckerberg was seen in his Facebook avatar taking selfies and sharing photos. While the interface is clearly intended for Oculus Touch controllers, it is possible to launch and operate the app with an HTC Vive headset and its motion controllers. Facebook Spaces allows you make a video call through Messenger that allows other users to join the VR space. Check out some of these features in action. Of note, the VR version of Facebook is only available for the Oculus Rift headset and not the Samsung Gear VR headset, which Facebook's VR software also runs on. Plus, the whole grab-and-drag interface doesn't work as intuitively due to the somewhat compromised emulation of Touch controller functionality on the Vive inputs.

Facebook gave Variety a quick demonstration of Spaces after the keynote.

Facebook has finally unveiled its first virtual reality app.

With this concept, Facebook wants to make VR more social and interactive as opposed to being a solo experience.

A Facebook Space is where those virtual avatars interact. Although creating a digital caricature of a person may seem easy, Franklin said it "has been a challenge for us to build" and showed demonstrations of how the of VR avatars can smile, move their mouths, and act more lifelike. "Whether you want to show off your latest 3D drawing masterpiece, play an awesome 360 video your friend would love, or just spend time chatting, it's one of the best ways to be in the moment together, from anywhere". You can create a custom avatar based on photos from your Facebook profile and spend time with up to three other people in a virtual space. There'll be the ability for those people to use the Messenger effects to change how they appear too, albeit not as a 3D avatar. There's also a virtual selfie-stick, for taking photos of yourself within the VR space. You can find it as a free download in the Oculus Store.

You can also pull in photos from your Facebook account and enlarge them on the screen.


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