Today, the Facebook News Feed on the web and Android is getting support for 360-degree videos, essentially giving you virtual worlds to explore. Apple’s iOS will get the feature later.
Basically, they work like normal videos, but you can click and drag to look all around while it plays. It’s just one step closer to the virtual reality future that Facebook is pushing for with its Oculus VR business.
To demonstrate, Facebook signed on partners like Discovery, LeBron James, and GoPro to show off how 360-degree videos can put you in the action.
But for my money, the coolest demo comes from “Star Wars,” which lets you take a virtual tour of the new planet Jakku from “The Force Awakens” — crashed Imperial Star Destroyers and all.
You’ll need to be using Google’s Chrome web browser to experience it, as Safari isn’t supported at the moment.
Take a look:
It’s not hard to imagine that eventually, these 360-degree videos will be viewable from Facebook’s long-in-the-works Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Facebook, Sony, HTC, and others are betting big that virtual reality is the next major way we’ll all communicate with each other online. This is our first glimpse at what that might actually look like in real life.
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