For years, and certainly since Back to the Future II hit theaters, we’ve heard talk about virtual reality. Positioned to be the next big thing, its reputation is one of possibilities and excitement. But, reputation aside, it hasn’t reached its potential. Facebook hopes to change that.
What is Virtual Reality? Per CNet, virtual reality allows users to experience reality in a different way. Using computer generation and a headset, virtual reality visually separates people from whatever space they’re occupying into a virtual world.
It allows people to experience a variety of simulated activities, everything from riding a rollercoaster to fighting zombies, from surfing an ocean wave to hiking a forest.
Virtual Reality? The New Normal: Virtual reality has never reached its potential because of its limitations for consumers. While you could experience it in arcades or amusement parks, inside the home was a different story. With the invention of VR headsets, headsets that work with your smartphone, it finally has the ability to become as prevalent as video games.
How Facebook May Bring Virtual Reality to the Next Level: If there is one thing that can bring virtual reality to the masses, it’s Facebook. As reported in their newsroom, the social media platform presently has over one billion users worldwide (and continues to grow). Now, one day, those users may experience things a little more virtually.
According to Tech Crunch, Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook CEO and founder– has big plans to incorporate virtual reality into the future of his vision. But these things take time – lots of time: if you’re hoping to hike the Badlands, you better lace up your boots because you won’t be able to do it through your Facebook page for several years (possibly five years to a decade or more).
Zuckerberg’s plans were made public when he took the stand to testify in a lawsuit involving Oculus, the virtual reality company Facebook purchased in 2014. The lawsuit involves accusations that another company helped create technology vital to Oculus, but people from that company were left uncompensated.
Per the New York Times, Zuckerberg stated that Facebook plans to invest more than three billion over the next ten years, an investment they hope will bring virtual reality to a computer screen near you.
They’ve already invested a pretty penny – 200 billion of them: Facebook purchased Oculus for two billion dollars in 2014. This agreement also involves 700 million dollars in employee retention and 300 million in milestones.
While it remains years away, virtual reality in laptops and smartphones may come to fruition. And this, of course, will change the way businesses market through social media. If you’re a business owner, you don’t need to prepare yourself right away, but it’s something to be aware of. Because that’s the thing about the future: it gets here eventually.