Long gone are the days when Facebook was just another social network. The launch of the site in 2005 compared to what it is today shows that the company has developed and evolved over the years. While change is consistent with a booming business, it may not always have the positive impact we want. Facebook recently went on a journey to revamp its image and brand and it accomplished this by taking a dive into the world of virtual reality (VR). The social networking giant has announced Facebook Horizon, a new social VR world experience, which will be available with the Oculus Rift in 2020.
VR and the Entertainment Industry
VR has already made strides in the entertainment industry. It is a fantastic new way to hang out with long-distance friends, play video games and immerse yourself in films. This, in turn, helps users gain new skills and further explore the world through technology. The idea of human connections and budding curiosity is central to the VR experience, which is why Facebook has taken an active interest in it. The Horizon experience is based on Ready Player One, a science fiction novel published in 2011. The Ready Player One: OASIS beta was a 2018 beta phase of the immersive virtual universe from the book. This is where Facebook found its inspiration for Horizon.
Facebook’s Take on VR
Facebook recently announced that it would be building its own Ready Player One Oasis called Horizon. This essentially acts as a virtual reality sandbox universe that expands into an interconnected world. Users can explore new places, build societies, socialize with friends explore landscapes made by other users. Basically, this is Facebook’s take on Second Life.
Facebook Horizon is set to launch in early 2020 as a closed beta. It will allow selected users to design their own avatars and travel between different virtual locations through portals. Users will be able to do everything a multiplayer game allows with the added effects of VR guides and lifelike experience. The company has also decided to shut down any existing social VR experiences in October until Horizon is launched. While Facebook has previously worked on full-fledged VR games, Horizon is meant to be a destination where users can permanently reside.
What You Can do with Horizon
According to Facebook, there are no limits to what users can do in Horizon. The VR world comes with boundless options where the only thing that can be limited is human curiosity. Horizon will thus allow users to meet each other in VR and do fun activities together to build their own experiences.
Build Your Own Experience
Users will be able to program their own experience within the multiplayer game. They can use a range of tools to build new games without needing to know how to code. This will enable them to create genuine VR experiences that they can be an active part of. They can visit custom worlds and grow their social sphere with their friends.
Have Fun in a Safe Environment
Facebook is providing users with tools that they can utilize to control all aspects of their VR experiences. This means that while users have their fun, they will be able to do so safely and within their personal boundaries. They can use a Shield button to enter their own personal space and take a private moment for themselves. Furthermore, there is access provided to core safety tools everywhere in Horizon so users can mute, block, or report another player when needed.
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Receive Virtual Assistance
Once users have created their virtual world they will become a part of their own space. This does not require any previous coding knowledge and can be done using the many building tools that Horizon has to offer. However, since Facebook focuses on people and human connection, there are virtual guides available in the game. It can be difficult to master world-building as a newbie so users can talk to human guides called Horizon Locals who will help them with their queries.
Pause Whenever You Want
A part of the Virtual Reality design services of the game is that users get to be in full control. If the environment gets too overwhelming, users can define their personal space and dip into it whenever they feel like it. This not only ensures safety but also gives users the chance to pause and take a breather when they need to. The definition of these protections means that Facebook is ensuring the comfort of the users before anything else.
Horizon is the perfect tool for facilitating VR into social interaction. As Facebook turned 15 years old this year, basic interactions were turning stale in the online sphere. This is why the introduction of Horizon gives everyone the power to build fascinating new worlds and immerse in an interactive VR arena.