Friday, April 21, 2017

With Facebook Spaces, all your 360 content is now in VR, but is that a good thing?

Lot’s of people, or #foreveralone?
First impressions about Facebook Spaces for Oculus Rift:

TL;DR: Facebook Spaces, the recently released virtual reality app for Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, is basically a bit like AltspaceVR, but with Facebook bolted in.

That is to say, you get to go to a ‘space’ where you can hang out with your Facebook friends in virtual reality with an avatar.

The space you occupy in Spaces is a virtual table where you get to share photos and videos and chat and play with friends who also are logged to Oculus at the same time. You can draw in 3-D and you can take virtual selfies, (which I will never ever call ‘vrelfies’ so don’t even). You drag your photos and videos to the center of the table to display them. If they’re in 360 degrees, they’re spheres, and when you drop them in the middle of the table, the photos surround you, as do the videos.

There is an option to hang out with Messenger for those who don’t have an Oculus (aka, most people) and, from my limited experience, this currently means you’re going to be mostly hanging out by yourself. This is an interesting contrast to Altspace or Rec Room, because, in those platforms, everyone has a VR device, but they’re strangers. #foreveralone

CONTENT: All your 360 photos and 360 videos work in VR in ‘Spaces’, but this means the quality of images and movement in video ARE now an issue for those who would experience the content like this. That means that awesome ‘Star Wars’ racer video from a while back doesn’t look good if you’re inside it while in ‘Spaces.’

LIVE: 360 FB live streams don’t work in VR if you try to watch them later. And since quality is lowered for a live feed, it’s just not compatible and won’t be for the foreseeable future.

The 'space' tries to render those videos into a cube but it doesn’t know how to place the video in the six panels. But even if it got fixed, I don’t see this working properly until the platform can support live streams in at least 2K, and that would only work if you had a strong data or wireless connection.

SEARCH: You basically have to ‘save’ a bunch of 360 videos and photos that are not yours if you’d like to find them, (unless you’re not a big publisher *shakes fist at cloud*). Your profile stuff is there. I manage some pages with 360 content and could not get to the photos and videos, so I had to "save" things within Facebook to be able to access it in "Spaces."

JOURNALISM/OTHER USES?: I can certainly see groups with common interests having a ~meetup~ in such a space that could be streamed out with Open Broadcast Software for the rest, which would, again, would be a bit like AltSpaceVR. It would have to be more of a lifestyle or fun side of the news spectrum, as it would be awkward and unnecessary for a cartoon journalist to interview a source.

Also, can’t find a ‘stach for my avi.