Facebook and Samsung join Together to Push the Envelope on VR Technology

Stanley Weinbaum’s vision of a ‘magic spectacles’ may come close to realization sooner rather than later.

Since he first introduced the idea of something like a virtual reality in 1935 in his short story titled Pygmalion’s Spectacles, many have attempted to bring into life this prophetic ‘magic spectacles.’ VR systems have been developed as early as the 1960s, but nothing has come close to the device that can supposedly immerse users to a whole new experience of sight, sound, smell, feel and even taste.

Facebook Invests in VR

Not until 2010 did the technology pushed for worldwide commercialization with the creation of Palmer Luckey’s VR headset, which would evolve to what is now known as the Oculus Rift. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, liked the Rift so much that in 2014, he bought Oculus for $2B.

Fast forward to 2016 and you have the like of tech giant Samsung joining in the bandwagon along with Facebook to push the envelope on VR technology to even greater heights.

Samsung Vital in Facebook’s VR Goals

In February of 2016 at the new Samsung Galaxy launch event held in Barcelona, Spain Mark Zuckerberg announced that he plans to deliver the Virtual Reality experience to Facebook users with the help of Oculus Rift and Samsung. He said that the technology of Samsung will be vital in driving virtual reality content on Facebook, particularly on the 360-degree photo and video sharing.

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Before the said event, Facebook has previously announced that it has created a “Social VR” team tasked to build technologies that aims to make virtual reality a more social experience. The team will develop Oculus gadgets geared to being more social. Michael Booth and Daniel James, both big names who have worked with big gaming companies, will lead the team. Zuckerberg says that he envisions the VR devices to allow friends to seemingly hang out in a the same “virtual” room as if they are really there.

Samsung, meanwhile, launched Gear 360 camera together with its new phone models at the same venue at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona. This tiny, dual-lensed spherical camera capable of capturing 360-degree videos and photos will be up for purchase in the second quarter of 2016. The new models of Galaxy S7 and S7 edge will be preinstalled with applications compatible with Gear VR headset – Samsung’s own virtual reality device.