Facebook isn’t the social network it used to be as compared to when it started out. While change is the only constant entity, it might not always work in a company’s favour. In a quest to revamp and rejuvenate its offerings, the social networking giant has now announced Facebook Horizon. Facebook Horizon is a new social Virtual Reality (VR) world experience that will be available for the Oculus Rift and the Oculus Quest platform in 2020.
Almost all of us have wanted to escape reality and if you’ve read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline or watched the movie, you know what we are talking about. The movie gave us a glimpse of how fantastic it would be to construct your own virtual world and the freedom it brings. While the new Horizon social VR by Facebook isn’t anything like the sci-fi movie, it does enable users to hang out with their friends in the virtual world, watch movies and play games. Here’s five things you need to know about Facebook Horizon social VR.
Anything is possible in Horizon
As per Facebook, a user can do anything they want to do in Facebook Horizon since there’s boundless possibilities in the VR world. With curiosity and connection said to be driving these experiences, Facebook Horizon not only enables its users to meet in VR but they can also play games and watch movies together. When a new user signs in, they will spawn at a town square where most people will meet each other. The VR space will then expand to an interconnected world where “people can explore new places, play games, build communities, and even create their own new experiences.”
Design your virtual avatars
One of the great things about digital world is that you can be whatever you want to be and this will also be true when users step into Horizon for the first time. One will need to create their own avatar and they will get a skew if styles and body options to choose from. While there’s no detailed information about this available at the time, we expect the company to provide numerous options so that users can create highly customisable avatars.
Facebook Horizon Experiences
Once a user creates their avatar, they will be transported to the town square in Horizon. They can then proceed to experience the virtual world and step into experiences created by Facebook like Wing Strikers, which is a multiplayer aerial experience by the company. There will also be games and competitions to keep people engaged, along with activities like painting or building the virtual environment. Horizon will also enable users to team up with people from around the world to solve puzzles, take on challenges, and explore the digital landscape.
Create your own virtual landscapes
Facebook Horizon is not only about experiencing a virtual world as it will also enable users to create their own virtual space. Even if one doesn’t have any prior coding experience, using building tools called World Builder that are easy to learn but difficult to master, one will be able to create their own worlds and activities in Horizon. Facebook is also keen on helping people experience the new VR space safely and thus, Horizon will feature human guides called Horizon Locals that will be available to answer questions and provide assistance.
Creations in Horizon can range from simple to complex 3D objects by using a library of shapes and tools. This is also said to enable the creation of complex multiplayer games and experiences with visual scripting. Like regular social media, one will be able to show off their work to other in Horizon and Facebook’s content discovery and distribution tools will help provide exposure to a user’s creations.
Sign up for beta!
Facebook Horizon will be available in beta early next year and those who want to sign up can do so here. Those who register for it will be notified once the beta goes live but one needs Oculus Quest or the Oculus Rift to get into the VR social network. Facebook also announced that since it will now focus on the development of Facebook Horizon, it will be shutting down Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms on October 25.
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Image credits: Facebook