Facebook is working on a stand-alone app that would support 360-degree—or “spherical”—video, allowing users to alter their viewing perspective with the mere tilt of their phones.
The app is still in early development, and would be available for both Apple and Android operating systems if it proves to be a go, sources close to the project told The Wall Street Journal.
Typically compiled from multiple cameras, the video format allows users to change their viewing perspective by tilting their phones, the Journal reported.
The introduction of what appears to be a virtual reality-like experience on the phone—but without the need for a VR headset—would be a natural extension for the company, which as been at the forefront of the technology ever since they acquired Oculus VR last year for $2 billion.
Oculus is set to release its first consumer version of its Oculus Rift headset early next year, with pre-orders launching later this year. It is a technology ripe with potential, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckeberg declaring that virtual reality would be the next ubiquitous communication platform.
“One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people,” he said in a Facebook post after the company’s investment in Oculus.
In March, Zuckerberg set the stage for spherical videos by announcing Facebook’s News Feed would natively support such 360-degree videos.