The platform will allow users to play games, create their own worlds, and interact with other users via digital avatars. The announcement wasn't surprising, since Facebook has constantly expanded its VR ecosystem since its acquisition of Oculus VR five years ago. However, Horizon looks like Facebook's biggest and most cohesive attempt at creating a virtual world to date, and it could offer us a glimpse of the social network's future when it arrives in A central theme in the book, which Steven Spielberg adapted into a film last year, is that VR represents the ultimate form of social escapism.
But to date, Facebook's efforts to build that computing platform have been messy and fragmented. There was Oculus Home, which let users create virtual homes and invite friends over, but the app only ran on its high-end Rift headsets. Facebook's first stand-alone headset, the Oculus Go, ran a similar platform called Oculus Rooms and Venues, but it didn't connect to Oculus Home. Go's successor, the Quest, released this May, ran a new software platform which wasn't compatible with the earlier platforms, leaving third-party developers to bridge the gaps with cross-platform apps.
Back inFacebook launched Spaces, which encouraged VR users to invite up to three other users to chat, watch videos, or play games together. Those fits and starts indicated that Facebook needed a cohesive VR strategy that put everyone on the same page. The first major step in the right direction was the Oculus Quest, which was well-received after its launch in May.
Zuckerberg recently claimed that Facebook was selling the Quest "as fast as we can make them," and SuperData expects the headset's shipments to hit 1. That's still a niche market, but it finally gives Facebook enough room to launch a more ambitious VR social network with Horizon.
Facebook has stated that Horizon will run on both the Rift and Quest headsets, indicating that it finally plans to pull its higher-end and lower-end hardware users onto the same page. Facebook's introductory video for Horizon is light on details but indicates that it will support more simultaneous users than Spaces and resemble an MMO massively multiplayer online game environment instead of enclosed rooms.
That open-world environment could encourage users to socialize with people all across the world -- which would complement the growth of its core social networking platforms and new efforts like online dating.
But that's not all. Facebook recently acquired CTRL-labs, which develops a wristband that intercepts electric signals between the spinal cord and hand. Over the long term, those brain-computing links could eventually replace traditional controllers or haptic gloves and allow users to seamlessly navigate VR environments. But over the long term, Facebook's big bets on VR could increase the stickiness of its ecosystem and expand its social network beyond PCs and mobile devices. In the future, tech investors might look back at Spaces and Horizon and realize that they were witnessing the first steps toward Facebook's creation of a real-life OASIS.
Oct 1, at AM. Author Bio Leo is a tech and consumer goods specialist who has covered the crossroads of Wall Street and Silicon Valley since His wheelhouse includes cloud, IoT, analytics, telecom, and gaming related businesses.
Follow him on Twitter for more updates! Image source: Facebook. Stock Advisor launched in February of Join Stock Advisor. Related Articles.VR is already a great place to hang out with friends, play games, and watch movies. Starting with a bustling town square where people will meet and mingle, the Horizon experience then expands to an interconnected world where people can explore new places, play games, build communities, and even create their own new experiences.
Before stepping into Horizon for the first time, people will design their own avatars from an array of style and body options to ensure everyone can fully express their individuality. From there, magic-like portals—called telepods—will transport people from public spaces to new worlds filled with adventure and exploration.
At first, people will hop into games and experiences built by Facebook, like Wing Strikers, a multiplayer aerial experience. But that's just the beginning. People will also jump into various other Horizon worlds, built using the World Builder, a collection of easy-to-use creator tools.
Everyone will have the power to build new worlds and activities, from tropical hangout spots to interactive action arenas, all from scratch—no previous coding experience needed. Whether people choose to build, play, or simply hang out, Horizon will ensure a welcoming environment through new safety tools and human guides—Horizon Locals—to answer questions and provide assistance, if needed.
Zuckerberg specifically teased as much earlier this morning before the keynote began. Zuckerberg described it as welcoming and inclusive from day one, which has often been a struggle for many social VR experiences. Blocking and moderation tools will be included, as well as a detailed avatar customization system. It seems like a lot of Horizon will be built by users directly, similar to worlds in VRChat, games in Roblox, or custom rooms in Rec Room. They showed off some in-VR creation tools that let you build things in real time.
However, knowing how to code will help make more advanced things. In the video we see players flying planes in a game made by Facebook called Wing Strikers, exploring massive worlds, and hanging out together.
Joining new worlds is as simple as going through a portal, basically just like VRChat. There is no firm date set for Horizon, but it is slated for both Rift and Quest, presumably with full crossplay, in with a Closed Beta in early Update: This story was updated after publication with additional details revealed during the keynote presentation at OC6. Mark Zuckerberg promised something new for today's Oculus Connect 3 keynote and he didn't disappoint;….
Original Story On…. He established the site's game review criteria and helped spearhead its evolution into the leading source of VR news. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies.
Facebook’s Horizon VR world looks like Second Life all over again
It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Light Dark.It takes the place of Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms, both of which will be shut down by the end of the year. On the surface, it makes a lot of sense. CEO Mark Zuckerberg started out the keynote by saying that Facebook has been about bolstering digital social interaction.
Moving that to VR means translating things like groups, events, and messaging — all of which will reportedly be a big part of Facebook Horizon. From there, Horizon will present you with a main hub world with portals to wherever you want to go from there. Horizon will start you off with experiences made by Facebook itself, such as a multiplayer aerial game called Wing Strikers. But again, the focus here is on user-generated content.
The platform grew to have its own in-world economy, which plagued it with a litany of legal and regulatory concerns. That might make it a bit less fascinating than what Second Life has become, but should ensure its family-friendly nature.
Along with the new VR platform, Facebook also announced that finger-tracking would come to the Oculus Quest sometime in Updated on September 26 to fix Second Life release date and remove note about current user base. The best HTC Vive games for 2 days ago.
The best PSVR games available today 2 days ago. The best VR headsets for 2 days ago. These are the best student laptop deals for April 1 day ago.
Facebook’s Horizon VR world looks like Second Life all over again
The best wireless routers for 1 day ago. Is 5G dangerous? We asked an expert 1 day ago.
The best Adobe Photoshop deals for April 1 day ago. Get the most out of GoToMeeting with these tips and tricks 21 hours ago. Loom problems and how to fix them 19 hours ago.Horizon is only accessible as an app on Oculus headsets and, at least for testers, it requires a linked Facebook account. Business Insider Intelligence. Horizon is Facebook's latest effort to combine social networking with the immersive aspects of VR in a way that drives wider interest and consumer adoption among users.
Horizon aims to build on past VR product launches from Oculus that likewise focused on realizing a vision of social networking and VR technology combined: Oculus Rooms, launched inand Spaces, launched in Generally speaking, Facebook's Oculus still faces several barriers to mass consumer adoption — namely, cost and lack of content.
And though the number of VR users in the US is growing — That's a problem for Oculus, which not only wants to develop compelling VR experiences but sell the hardware on which those experiences are consumed. Integrating more social and community-driven features into VR experiences could make VR compelling to the average Facebook user — and younger users in particular. In the long run, virtual spaces may even begin to replace elements of social media as digital spaces to connect with others. Take Fortnite as a case in point: Many young people already turn to the game, which offers non-competitive elements like virtual concerts and world-building, to connect and find a sense of community.
If a VR experience could replicate Fortnite's community elements — but in a more immersive way — it would likely hold serious appeal to young people. If Horizon launches more broadly and grows fast, brand advertising and sponsorship opportunities will likely follow, enabling the creation of new virtual ad formats and brand integrations. Until Facebook manages to crack the social VR code in a way that drives wider interest and adoption among users, Facebook isn't likely to pursue monetization through advertising in its dedicated social VR spaces like Horizon.
Still, it's exciting to speculate about the compelling integrations that could eventually emerge, particularly as brands become more attuned to esports and gaming communities, which are more likely to inhabit virtual spaces.
As a starting point, marketing in immersive, social experiences like what Horizon aims to offer could look similar to how it does in Fortnite today. Fortnite doesn't have traditional in-game ad formats, but instead allows brands to participate in more organic ways, like by creating sponsored skins — outfits for players' avatars — or community experiences, like co-viewing an organization's event. Account icon An icon in the shape of a person's head and shoulders.
It often indicates a user profile. Login Subscribe. My Account. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Audrey Schomer. To check to see if you already have access to Insider Intelligence through your company, click here.Areas of Work. Facebook Life. COVID update: Protecting the health and safety of our communities—including our teams and of those considering a career at Facebook—is our highest priority.
Facebook is testing new social VR app Horizon
We continue to closely monitor the evolving situation and we appreciate your understanding and flexibility with any related changes to our interviewing process. Learn how our teams are helping to keep people safe, informed, and connected. Advertising Technology. Enterprise Engineering. Facebook Reality Labs. Global Operations. Product Management. Software Engineering. Technical Program Management. Facebook University. How We Hire. Frequently Asked Questions.
We're building new, innovative hardware and software that radically redefine the way people work, play, and connect. From Oculus to Portal and Spark AR, our technologies make it easier for people to feel connected with each other and the world around them. Join Our Growing Teams. Our teams build hardware products that give our people highly immersive experiences for work, social, and entertainment.
We are developing the future of AR and VR, bringing products to audiences that transform entertainment and social experiences. Research Facebook Reality Labs is where teams work on advanced research science that continues to push the state of the art at Facebook. Known as FRL, this team works on cutting-edge concepts that will help bring these future technologies forward.
There are many different ways to have empathy, but I think the most powerful is feeling close to friends and family. What We Build. We are the builders behind Oculus Quest, Rift S, and Go, the first and second generation of Portal devices, and the largest augmented reality platform for the phone, Spark AR.
We continue to push the state of the art on future technologies with research at Facebook Reality Labs. Here is a sampling of what we build. Oculus Oculus enables people to defy distance—connecting with each other and the world—through world-class VR hardware and software. We've introduced our first generation of Oculus virtual reality products and are committed to continued innovation.
Portal The Portal family of products are designed from the ground up to make it easier for people to connect with their closest friends and family, making you feel like you're in the same room even when you're separated by thousands of miles.
Spark AR enables a global community of creators and developers to imagine, create, and share augmented reality experiences that reach billions of people.Facebook Horizon is a virtual reality sandbox universe where you can build your own environments and games, play and socialize with friends or just explore the user-generated landscapes.
Launching in early in closed betaFacebook Horizon will allow users to design their own diverse avatars and hop between virtual locales through portals called Telepods, watch movies and consume other media with friends and play multiplayer games together, like Wing Strikers. Users interested in early access can apply for the beta here. As part of the launch, Facebook will on October 25 shut down its existing social VR experiences Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms, leaving a bit of a gap until Horizon launches.
Oculus Rooms debuted in as your decoratable private VR apartment, while Spaces first launched in to let users chat, watch movies and take VR selfies with friends. But both felt more like lobby waiting rooms with a few social features that were merely meant as a preamble to full-fledged VR games.
In contrast, Horizon is designed to be a destination, not a novelty, where users could spend tons of time. Facebook Horizon will start centralized around a town square. Before people step in, they can choose how they look and what they wear from an expansive and inclusive set of avatar tools.
From inside VR, users will be able to use the Horizon World Builder to create gaming arenas, vacation chillspots and activities to fill them without the need to know how to code. Facebook Horizon lets you build objects from scratch. You could design a tropical island, then invite friends to hang out with you on your virtual private beach.
An object creator akin to the Oculus Medium sculpting feature lets you make anything, even a custom t-shirt your avatar could wear. Visual scripting tools let more serious developers create interactive and reactive experiences. A Horizon citizen is friendly, inclusive, and curious. They seem poised to be part customer support, part in-world police.
Facebook Horizon VR Platform is Under Works
Facebook Horizon will include human Locals who provide safety and technical support. If things get overwhelming, you can tap a shield button to pause and dip into a private space parallel to Horizon. Users can define their personal space boundaries so no one can get in their face or appear to touch them.
And traditional tools like muting, blocking and reporting will all be available. Facebook lets you build your own islands and other locales in Horizon. Horizon makes perfect sense for a business obsessed with facilitating social interaction while monetized through ad views based on time-spent. As Facebook starts to grow stale after 15 years on the market, users are looking for new ways to socialize.