F8 Recap: Social VR, React VR, and the Future of Mixed Reality
Oculus Blog
Posted by Oculus VR
April 24, 2017

Last week was jam-packed with activity as F8, Facebook’s signature developer conference, hit San Jose. Today, we’ve rounded up all the VR highlights to keep you in the know—including some insights on the future of VR and AR from Oculus Chief Scientist Michael Abrash.

Rift Boosts Its Social Signal with Facebook Spaces
Mark Zuckerberg’s onstage demo of Facebook Spaces was a hit at OC3, and we’ve been looking forward to its release ever since. We launched the beta on April 18, and it’s been amazing to see so many people hanging out and being themselves in Rift. According to Engadget, the new app “finally delivers on social VR.”

Thanks to its seamless integration with Messenger, Facebook Spaces lets your friends without a VR headset get in on the immersive fun. We can’t wait for even more people to get a taste of the magic of VR.

Share 360 Content from VR
We also launched the 360 Capture SDK, which lets developers incorporate the ability to quickly and easily grab 360 screenshots and record 360 video directly from their apps. That means you can share your PC VR experiences directly to Facebook.

React VR Goes Open Source
Another development originally announced at OC3, we released React VR to let web developers build their own VR experiences that live conveniently in your browser. That means rich, immersive experiences will become more common on the web, mobile devices, and high-end VR headsets, so you can enjoy cutting-edge content wherever you are.

Check out what some of our partners have been working on with React VR:

  • The Dubai Tourism Board collaborated with Dubai Film to create Discover Dubai, a treasure hunt game that encourages people to explore all of Dubai in 360
  • USA Today took a tour of Buffalo Trace Distillery, taking you behind the scenes of the oldest continuously-operating distillery in the US
  • The British Museum created an exclusive tour, letting you reach out and examine 3D models of its most popular exhibits
  • The New York Times continued to explore news in VR with an investigation of the Antarctic ice shelves using stunning 360 photos and videos
  • Vizor.io demonstrated how easy it is to create interactive 360 experiences that work in browsers and VR headsets with an inside look at the Today Show
  • Airbnb showed off the flexibility and power of React VR by developing a prototype Airbnb experience in just a few weeks

These experiences mark the beginning of a wave of content that will reach broad audiences across the web, mobile, and PC VR. We can’t wait to see what comes next.

Inventing the Future
During the Day 2 Keynote, Michael Abrash gave us his high-level view of the future trajectory for both VR and AR over the next 10 years—what he calls the next wave of virtual computing. “The distinction between VR and AR will vanish,” he predicted. “The real and virtual worlds will just mix and match throughout the day, according to our needs.”

Due to technology constraints, VR and AR will follow different paths toward the future of mixed-reality, according to Abrash, though he expects them to merge in the ultimate form factor of socially-acceptable, fashion-forward glasses. “They aren’t here yet, but they’re on the way,” he noted. “And when they arrive, they’re going to be one of the great transformational technologies of the next 50 years.”

A bold prediction—and also, perhaps, an intimidating one—but ultimately, it’s a future worth investing in.

“It’s a big step into the unknown to jump into a technology wave just as it’s starting,” said Abrash. “But the possibilities it opens up are limitless.”

We look forward to exploring those possibilities with you.

— The Oculus Team