When Facebook bought Oculus Rift, people laughed or got angry, wondering what kind of VR nightmare would be the result of such a match.
How would they combine social media and VR?
And could it one day become a threat to Second Life?
Yesterday at the Facebook developers conference a very impressive demonstration was given that showed some of what they have in mind.
See the video here, uploaded by UploadVR (click to visit).
To me it looks like a lot of fun, a sophisticated and even creative toy but not much more, not yet anyway.
But it shows a lot of potential.
At the moment we have avatars that are only hands and heads in a static, not moving 360° location.
But of course it will only be a matter of time before we can have these experiences in moving and fully interactive 3D locations and with complete and more realistic avatars.
I think I will enjoy this, I can see myself meeting my sister, mother or aunty this way while they are far away.
But with one click a then easily available and cheap 3D camera we can be with each other in the same location.
So will it threaten SL and Sansar?
Yes and no.
It looks like Social VR is going to work and be fun and for lots of people it will be more than enough, it will offer them a VR experience that is easy to use, they’ll enjoy and that will be all they need.
With many improvements and new options coming in the future in a way, it is competition for SL and Sansar.
But as long as they do not give us the amazing and unique freedom to create what we want and be what we want to be that we’re enjoying in Second Life and expecting in Sansar, Linden Lab doesn’t have to worry.
Here is a closer look at the actual VR footage, uploaded by Road to VR (click to visit).
Social VR is going to lower the threshold for millions of people who right now are not (yet) interested in VR, it will be their first experience and maybe it will make them want to see more, experience more… create more?
The golden ticket remains the absolute freedom SL is offering us now, that is what makes it unique.
In short; until I can build 1920s Berlin in Facebook’s Social VR, I won’t be leaving SL.