Facebook Is Planning For Standalone VR App For Android And iOS
Facebook is working on bringing a standalone video app for Android and iOS that would support 360-degree videos. The videos will be captures using multiple cameras, allowing the viewer to change their perspective by tilting their phone.
The video app is in early stages of development without any firm release date. However according to sources, the app would work on many platforms including Apple iOS and Google Android.
Facebook has been talking for a few months about its VR plans and even demoed its VR system to a bunch of journalists by virtually transporting them to Facebook HD using Oculus Rift. Although most perceived the experience as underwhelming, it did not stop Facebook from moving ahead of its VR plans.
A mobile-video app would offer a less immersive experience than a headset. However, an app would help extend Facebook's presence in virtual reality beyond Oculus and introduce the technology to a much larger audience.
Last year, Google unveiled a virtual-reality viewer it calls Cardboard and in May, Google introduced tools to make it easier to create spherical videos. Its Jump camera rig includes 16 GoPro devices that capture 360-degree, three-dimensional pictures and video. YouTube supports those videos and there are more than 400,000 subscribers to its #360Video channel.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes VR tech is the next big computing platform after mobile devices and even spent $2 billion in acquiring Oculus VR last year. Oculus is expected to ship a consumer version of its Rift headset in the first quarter of next year.