Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is developing an app that will support “spherical” or 360-degree videos on the smartphone. The work is part of Facebook’s virtual reality project. The spherical videos will allow smartphone owners to change their viewing perspective by simply tilting the phone. Sources say that the work on the app for spherical video views is still in the early stages.
Facebook’s secretive aligns with what the top management of the company has previously expressed publicly – virtual reality. It is emerging that the company is working on a standalone smartphone app that will allow people to view videos in 360-degree format. To have different viewing perspective of a video, tilting your smartphone accordingly is all you need.
Virtual reality agenda
The spherical video app is clearly part of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s virtual reality agenda. That explains why although the company hasn’t confirmed the 360-degree video project, the move is not entirely surprising. It was Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckeberg, who said that he believed immersive technology (virtual and augmented reality) will be the next big thing in technology.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is so interested in virtual and augmented reality that the company forked out $2 billion to get hold of Oculus VR. Through Oculus, Facebook is developing virtual reality headsets called Oculus Rift. The consumer version of the Oculus Rift is expected to arrive on the market in early 2016, although preorders are likely to open later this year. However, viewing of spherical videos using the app that Facebook is developing for smartphones will not require virtual reality headsets.
The virtual reality app that Facebook is working on will be made available on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iOS platforms. The timing of the arrival of Facebook’s virtual reality app is not known. Google and Apple also have their virtual or augmented reality projects at different stages.