Mark Zuckerberg was all about virtual reality at MWC last week, famously appearing as a surprise guest at Samsung’s Galaxy S7 launch to essentially try to flog the Gear VR. He’s clearly excited about the technology, and is plotting a future in which we all walk around with the Facebook logo strapped across our faces.
However, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey isn’t so convinced. This week, he said he can't see the social network really having a relationship with virtual reality, as Facebook users react with existing posts, rather than live content, and the site is also little more than a list of pictures and information. Remember, Facebook owns Oculus.
“The thing to remember is, Facebook the social networking tool as it exists today is not necessarily the future of VR,” he said. “Facebook is largely an asynchronous tool – even the company’s realtime Messenger and WhatsApp tools are still asynchronous in that generally people have to wait for replies. It’s the same thing with the news feed where you’re seeing hundreds of photos and status updates over a short period of time. That’s very different from virtual reality where you will be in an environment together synchronously.”
Zucks will be pleased. Instead, Luckey says that VR will be far more immersive. “You’re not going to see someone’s VR status update and process it in half a second and keep scrolling,” he added. “You’re going to want to see real world captures in longer than five seconds – it’s totally different.
“I don’t think people should think ‘how will Facebook VR become a thing’. Virtual reality will be social, but it’ll be on totally new platforms built from the ground up that really push VR, not necessarily applications we have today.” I'd love to be a fly on the wall at their next meeting. [Guardian]