Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the Samsung MWC 2016 about Virtual Reality.
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg laid out the company's VR plans. Facebook owns Oculus and is preparing to go further than what Oculus is working on today. Oculus is the connection between Facebook and Samsung. Zuckerberg presented at Samsung's MWC event that has been streamed live in 360 virtual reality video.
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Even the audience at the Samsung MWC 2016 event used Gear VR to follow the presentation on stage, which is slightly weird.
Mark Zuckerberg hails Samsung's Gear VR is the best mobile VR experience in the world because it combines the leading VR software, built by Facebook’s Oculus team, with world-class mobile hardware, built by Samsung. Since Gear VR launched in November 2015, the response has been incredibly strong: More than 200 games and apps are now available for the platform in the Oculus store, and people have already watched more than a million hours of video in Gear VR.
Facebook has been developing new technology that will make video in virtual reality work even better. 360 video on Facebook is the first step. 360 Facebook video allows you to look around and feel like you’re present while watching a video. More than 20,000 360 videos have been uploaded, with hundreds more added daily.
Facebook announced that dynamic streaming technology will be enabled for 360 video on the Gear VR. It’s a more efficient way of delivering 360 videos, showing only the pixels you’re actually looking at in the highest quality, instead of delivering the entire 360 video in high resolution.
To make this work, Facebook creates dozens of variants for every 360 video that gets uploaded to Facebook, each tailored to a specific viewing angle, and then as you watch the video, we rapidly adjust which variant we display based on where you’re looking. By doing this, the company quadrupled the resolution quality of 360 streaming video in VR by reducing the amount of required network bandwidth by 4x — so videos look clearer and play faster.
Dynamic streaming for mobile VR will roll out in next few weeks.
Facebook explores immersive new VR experiences that will help people connect and share. Facebook created a Social VR team focused entirely on exploring the future of social interaction in VR. This team will explore how people can connect and share using today’s VR technology, as well as long-term possibilities as VR evolves into an increasingly important computing platform. They’ll will work closely with Oculus and other teams at Facebook to build the foundation for tomorrow’s social VR experiences on all platforms.
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Facebook is committed to VR in a big way. Looks like this time around virtual reality will stick and actually become a mass market product.