The 2018 Facebook F8 conference that took place earlier this week was an absolute power-packed event. The majority of the announcements dealt with virtual reality and the much-awaited Oculus Go was finally demonstrated in an unboxing event by Oculus’ CEO Hugo Barra.
Mark Zuckerberg and his team discussed revamping the existing features and adding more new features to the Oculus platform. The goal is to deliver intuitive and immersive-rich experiences to drive the adoption of VR tech further.
So, here is your one-stop guide to all the virtual reality announcements that were made at the Facebook F8 conference this year.
Oculus Go Technical Specs and Release Date
Although the Oculus Go VR Headset was announced last year in October 2017, the technical details and specifications were sparse. The Oculus Go VR Headset features a 5.5” 2560 x 1440 WQHD, fast-switch LCD display with 538ppi resolution. The company claims that the ‘Go’ features much-enhanced optics in comparison to the existing Rift calling them ‘our best lenses yet’.
In addition to higher resolution, the Oculus Go has a better form-factor with a significant reduction in the screen-door-effect (the space seen between the pixels). Another important feature of the headset includes integrated microphones with built-in spatial audio.
The Oculus Go is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip tuned with the company’s dynamic throttling feature which delivers smoother frame rates, better energy efficiency, and an overall improved experience.
Being a standalone VR headset, one of the most important things is the battery life. The Oculus Go comes with a built-in Lithium-Ion battery and works seamlessly for 2-2.5 hours while streaming media and videos. The battery life will certainly vary based on other graphics-intensive tasks.
Oculus Go is available in two different versions – a 32GB version for $199 USD and a 64GB model for $249 – in over 23 countries through Oculus.com as well as through other retail and channel partners like Amazon, BestBuy, and Newegg.
The All-New Oculus Rooms, Venues, TV and Gallery
Oculus Rooms is a social VR place launched along with the Go and also comes with additional support for Gear VR. Popular as a community app for multiplayer games, the Oculus Rooms is now revamped with new additional features like a common place for sharing photos or listening to music, a dedicated space for playing tabletop games, and a community screen for watching content rented or purchased from the Oculus Store.
Check the preview below to understand the experience with Oculus Rooms
Oculus Venues – First demonstrated at the Oculus Connect 2017, Oculus Venues is a social event viewing app available on Go and Gear VR. With Oculus Venues, users can enjoy events like sports, concerts, and comedy shows with your friends or even thousands of other people in VR.
In a statement, the company said that Oculus Venues “Is a way to get closer to your interests and connect with other fans, with all the sounds, lights, and energy of really being there.”
The company is yet to publish a final schedule but has said that it would feature some popular events like Gotham Comedy Club, Major League Baseball games, and music performances by popular musicians like Vance Joy and others.
Oculus TV will be available exclusively for the Go and basically delivers a home-theatre-like experience with a sitting area and a big screen. Oculus TV will also serve as a platform for launching VR streaming apps.
The company says at the time of the launch, it will be compatible with Netflix, Hulu, SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME ANYTIME, Facebook Video app for TV, Pluto TV, and Red Bull TV. More partners like ESPN will be added later this year.
Oculus Gallery will be available exclusively for the Go and will be a one-stop platform for streaming photos, videos, and 360 media from other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox and even your phone when connected to the Oculus Go. The company says that users can also stream directly from the home media server which will help to free-up some space in your Go VR headset.
Rebranding ‘React VR’ Framework to ‘React 360’
Having rebranded this platform into React 360, the company says that the new framework “provides clearer prioritization for our future roadmap.” The company, in its official developer blog post, said that this rebranding will “more accurately represent how developers are using the framework and streamline its development focus.”
It said that “React VR has very real limitations. While some of these limitations—like performance issues and support for more immersive content—can be immediately addressed, others—including Oculus Store distribution and complex 3D scene support—will take much longer to mitigate.”
Facebook Aims for Photorealistic Avatars in Social VR
A year back, Facebook ventured into the social VR space by announcing its own Facebook Spaces that allows users to interact and socialize in virtual reality by transporting their caricatures. Although this feature certainly helped Facebook to book its place in social VR, it was certainly short of creating a real-life social gathering experience.
At the latest Facebook F8 2018 conference, the company’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer said that they are now willing to take this experience further and are working on a technology to transport your physical likeness into virtual reality.
Easier said than done, such a system needs to overcome several technological challenges for creating this feeling of presence. For creating the exact physical avatar, the system should accurately track user’s motion, generate graphics and compile the data while simultaneously connecting users from different locations. Schroepfer said that the existing limitations of depth of focus and field-of-vision need to get more advanced to match the requirements of the realistic avatars.
However, the company is significantly pushing forward this project by using a AI-driven motion-capture technology for mapping facial images through photographs and thus capture several points on a user’s face. Facebook will later synchronize all the real-life facial movements and expressions to the photorealistic avatars in VR.
The company is also said to be working on a lip-sync technology to add more realism During the demo, Schroepfer showed the company’s progress in this segment where the avatar’s mouth moved in unison with his/her speech. Check out the below video.
Once this feature is completely developed, having immersive live chats with hot babes of VR Porn is going to be even more fun.