Facebook is eager to prove that virtual reality (VR) can be useful beyond video games.
The tech giant announced Sunday that it is creating a “social VR” team separate from Oculus VR, the gaming-focused virtual reality startup that Facebook acquired for $2 billion back in 2014.
“In the future, VR will enable even more types of connection — like the ability for friends who live in different parts of the world to spend time together and feel like they’re really there with each other,” the company said in a blog post.
To emphasize Facebook’s commitment to VR, CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance at Mobile World Conference, an annual technology event, touting the company’s ambitions. “Pretty soon we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re just there, right there in person,” he said.
For now, the only real view the public has into Facebook’s VR plans is the Oculus Rift, which costs $600 and begins shipping in March.