Virtual Reality + Social Media = Exciting Future

Virtual reality has been a far off dream for years, but once some major brands get involved – the future of VR as an everyday use is beginning to look closer than we thought.

A virtual reality-enabled future has been a major prediction in the tech world for some time now. Inventions like the Oculus Rift headset and Google cardboard have made VR a concept that more and more people are familiar with, but it’s fair to say that it’s remained a novelty rather than part of our daily lives. Up until this point, VR has been something that we use primarily for gaming, or for ground-breaking storytelling like the series released by the New York Times in November of last year.
But with certain big players in tech getting involved, that’s bound to change soon. One such name is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, which means there’s every likelihood that our future newsfeeds will be even more informative and distracting than they already are. In 2014 Zuckerberg made waves by acquiring the Oculus Rift VR headset for a cool $2 billion, a move that many people predicted would be a game changer for VR.  More recently, writing on Facebook’s blog after appearing at Samsung’s Mobile World Congress press conference, Zuckerberg revealed that “people have already watched more than a million hours of video in Gear VR. Already, millions of people watch 360 videos on Facebook every day. More than 20,000 have been uploaded, with hundreds more added daily.”
At the same press conference he announced that Facebook was creating a dedicated VR team to explore potential possibilities for the format. It’s unclear exactly what this team will work on, but The Guardian reports that “Facebook is upping the quality of 360-degree videos on its service, while tasking its new team with developing other kinds of non-games content for VR headsets.”
Though the company admits that this research and development is still in its early stages and they’re not sure exactly what applications or uses they will roll out to users, one thing is for sure: if Zuckerberg is interested, we can be certain something will happen. The tech titan is known for his big acquisitions and visionary moves, so it’s relatively certain that he didn’t simply purchase the Oculus Rift and invest in a VR team as a vanity project or to dabble in mere possibilities. Whether or not he admits it, there is every possibility he has big dreams in mind.
If you’re looking for any other signs that VR is set to become a far bigger part of our tech lives in the future, then the fact that Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed an interest in its applications is as good an indication as any. After the company released its financial earnings in January, the CEO spoke about the applications of VR and was quoted as saying “I don’t think it’s a niche—it’s really cool and has some interesting applications.”
Even before making this statement, Apple has experimented with various VR initiatives, including commissioning 360 videos to be released in conjunction with its Apple Music streaming platform. Apple has also been an investor in VR tech and hired an in-house expert to investigate the technology’s applications within the company. It also filed patents as early as 2008 related to VR, according to The Guardian, which indicates that the company has been thinking about the technology for some time. However, it remains to be seen just when they will release any VR Apple products, as a company of Apple’s size has time to wait and see when and how popular VR will become on the consumer market.
One thing is certain: if the CEOs of the two most important technology companies on earth are interested in VR and its applications for future use, we’re going to be seeing more of it in the future.

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