Oculus says that Facebook’s newly released social VR app, Facebook Spaces, “takes some of the best features of Facebook and brings them into your VR space,” but it also lets you do new things that you could never do on Facebook before. These three videos show some of Facebook Spaces’ most interesting features.
Facebook Spaces launched in beta today for the Oculus Rift and Touch. The app is designed to connect you with your Facebook friends in virtual reality and let you share memories (and create new ones) together. Here’s a quick look at some of the app’s standout features:
Video Calling Between Realities
For me, this is perhaps the coolest feature in Facebook Spaces. VR is still young and the number of people who have VR headsets is tiny compared to the number of people who have smartphones. But connecting the two together means that even without a headset, people can get a glimpse inside the virtual world and connect with their friends.
The Messenger video chat feature in Facebook Spaces lets the VR user see their real-life friends through a smartphone camera, while the smartphone user sees the VR user’s avatar and the virtual world around them.
The ‘Magic Marker’ in Facebook Spaces lets you draw in the air in all dimensions. This is similar to other VR apps, except in this case you can draw together with friends. Also quite interesting is that your drawings are not just brushstrokes, but 3D objects that you can then grab and manipulate, allowing you to essentially draw objects to play with in the virtual world.
Shared VR Experiences
There are 360 videos aplenty, but watching together with friends in VR is still a challenge. Now in Facebook Spaces it’s possible to view videospheres and photospheres together at the same time with friends so that you can both watch and talk about the experience as it happens.