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Facebook has created a new 'Social VR' team to explore how we'll communicate in virtual reality (FB)

Published by Business Insider on Sun, 21 Feb 2016

Instead of talking to your long-distance friends via FaceTime or Skype, you could one day pop on a virtual reality headset to instantly feel like you're actually in the same room together.To help get us to that future as soon as possible, Facebook justcreated a new "Social VR" team to focus entirely on figuring out ways that virtual reality can help people connect, the company writes in a blog post.Daniel James, known for the multiplayer online game Puzzles Pirates, and Mike Booth, who created the Left 4 Dead franchise, will lead the new team.They'll work both with Oculus and other divisionswithin Facebook proper.Since Facebookbought VR company Oculus for $2 billion two years ago,it has helped launch Samsung's $99 Gear VR headset, and plans tostart shippingits own, more expensive headset this spring.As of Facebook's announcement today, there are more than 200 games and apps in the Oculus store and more than 20,000 360-degree videos uploaded to Facebook. These videos pair well with virtual reality headsets because they let you explore a scene from every angle.Facebook says that it's now launching its "dynamic streaming" feature, which will allow 360-video viewers to use less bandwidth by only showing the parts of a video that the user is looking at the highest resolution."We create 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," Facebook says.While it's easy to imagine a dsytopian VR-driven future where all of our real-lifeinteractions become usurped by those in a virtual world, the new Social VR team is presumably focused on considering responsible ways to integrate VR on Facebook.CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said in the past thathe plans to shares his new baby's first steps through VR.SEE ALSO:Facebook will soon roll out its plan to make money from MessengerJoin the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: Animated map reveals the 550,000 miles of cable hidden under the ocean that power the internet
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