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February 22, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 5:02pm

New Facebook VR team aims to make virtual reality social

News: The company is also bringing its streaming technology to the Samsung Gear 360 and Gear VR.

By CBR Staff Writer

Facebook has created a new social virtual reality (VR) team ahead of the launch of its Oculus Rift headset.

The team, led by two executives Daniel James and Mike Booth, will research how people can connect and share using the current VR technology and the long-term possibilities as VR develops as a computing platform.

The team members will work with Oculus and other teams at Facebook to establish the foundation for the future social VR experiences on all platforms.

Facebook is also bringing its streaming technology to the Gear 360 and Samsung Gear VR in the next few weeks.

The social media giant said people have so far watched more than 1 million hours of video in Gear VR, and over 200 games and apps are now available via the Oculus Store.

The company added that millions of people watch 360 videos on Facebook each day and over 20,000 have been uploaded, with hundreds more added on a daily basis.

Facebook is taking efforts to evaluate new VR experiences that will help people connect and share, similar to the approach it followed on mobile devices.

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The company noted that in the future, VR will allow more types of connection, such as the ability for friends who live in different parts of the world to spend time together.

Facebook said in a blog post: "Our work in VR is still early, and there are a lot of hardware and software challenges that we still need to solve.

"But we’re encouraged by our progress to date, and we’re excited to continue building VR technology that gives people new ways to connect and share."

Launched yesterday at MWC, the Samsung Gear 360 has been developed for travel, festive gatherings and every activity in between to offer visual experience.

The new camera uses the best of the Samsung Galaxy experience allowing users to become the creator of their own virtual reality content to enjoy via Gear VR.

Samsung Gear 360 features dual fisheye lenses, which both have 15 megapixel image sensors. It will allow users to shoot 180-degree wide angle video and images with only using one side of the camera lens.


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