In a blog post the day before the Samsung event, Facebook announced that it will soon bring its 360 video streaming technology to the Samsung Gear VR headset.
Fellow smartphone giant HTC was also unveiling virtual reality technology with its new headset.
“VR is the next platform, where anyone can create and experience anything they want”, he said. “We believe in encryption, and we think that that’s an important tool that honestly people are going to find a way to get anyway”.
Facebook’s Internet.org initiative, which Free Basics was originally part of, has been bouncing other project ideas around, including the potential to beam internet connections down from drones using lasers. Be that as it may, Zuckerberg’s appearance may have overshadowed Samsung’s VR technology.
The hope is the work will lead the cheaper network infrastructure gear, so it will be more economical to expand Internet access to places where it’s too expensive at present, Zuckerberg said.
“We’re going to do our first trials at full scale a bit later this year”, said Zuckerberg, speaking at Mobile World Congressin Barcelona.
The men who were tapped to lead Facebook’s Social VR team are Daniel James, a game developer known for Puzzle Pirates, and Mike Booth, the creator of the popular Left 4 Dead franchise. “Imagine being able to sit in front of a campfire and hang out with friends anytime you want”, he said. While sharing some virtual reality statistics, Zuckerberg mentioned that more than 1 million hours of videos had already been watched on Gear VR headsets.
Facebook has reiterated its commitment to the long-term future of social virtual reality with the creation of a new “social VR team“.
Group meetings will be held at any destination around the world, at any time of choice.
“There are two real things that we are focused on with VR”, he said.