Instead of talking to your long-distance friends via FaceTime or Skype, you could one day pop on a virtual reality headset to feel like you’re actually in the same room together.
To help get us to that future as soon as possible, Facebook just created a new “Social VR” team to focus entirely on figuring out ways that virtual reality can help people connect, the company writes in a blog post.
Daniel James, known for the multiplayer online game Puzzles Pirates, and Mike Booth, who created the Left 4 Dead franchise, will lead the new team. They will work both with Oculus and other teams within Facebook.
Since Facebook bought VR company Oculus for $2 billion two years ago, the company has helped launch Samsung’s $99 Gear VR headset, and plans to start shipping its own, more expensive headset this spring.
Right now, there are more than 200 games and apps in the Oculus store, and more than 20,000 360-degree videos have been uploaded to Facebook. These videos pair well with virtual reality headsets, because you can move around.
Facebook says that it’s also now launching its “dynamic streaming” feature, which will show only the pixels you’re looking at at their highest quality, so that you can see crisp images without using so much bandwidth.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said in the past that he plans to shares his new baby’s first steps through VR.