Facebook is reportedly working on a secret new mobile app that aims to bring Virtual Reality (VR) to smartphones. It will support spherical videos and allow users to change viewing perspective by tilting their phones and turning around. If true, this could be a big step towards consumer adoption of VR technologies. Facebook previously announced that it will start shipping a consumer version of its Oculus Rift headset in the first quarter of next year, and this app could serve as a user-friendly entry point for Facebook to familiarize users with VR experiences.
What Brands Should Do
Although no further details on the app have been made available, it will likely be open to user-generated content, which means brands like Birchbox and Marriott can easily onboard with their existing VR content. We expect VR to be a niche market in 2016 in the same way that smartphones were a niche market in 2007, therefore it’d be wise for brands to prepare a VR strategy to stay ahead of the curve.
The Lab currently has two VR headsets—an Oculus Rift and a Samsung Gear—ready for demo in the Lab. Virtual reality is something that has to be experienced to be understood. So come by the Lab and get a VR demo to see just how engaging it can be, and understand why consumers would be excited by this technology.
Update 9/23: Facebook has officially announced it is working with Oculus to roll out 360-degree videos in News Feed, launching with six partners including Star Wars, Vice, and SNL.
Source: Wall Street Journal