Virtual Reality

Oculus Intros Facebook Livestreaming to Samsung Gear VR, Adds 360-Degree Videos to Rooms

Oculus last week released some updates to its mobile virtual reality (VR) platform, including more ways to virtually connect with friends on Facebook, as well as few functionality and features for the Samsung Gear VR headset.

Image Credit: Oculus.

First, the company has introduced more content in Rooms, a virtual space where friends can privately convene that launched late last year. Rooms 1.2 has expanded its video selection with free content to watch from websites like Vimeo. It also allows users to watch 360-degree videos for the first time. Users and their friends can watch the videos in its new viewing dome (see image). In addition to content, Rooms has added voice search. To use this function, select “Search” in the TV area, tap the microphone button and speak to search for video content from Facebook, the Oculus blog post announcement explained.

Next, Oculus users now have the option to stream their VR games directly to Facebook with a new “Livestreaming to Facebook” button available in the VR Universal Menu. “We want to make it easy to share memorable virtual moments with your friends and family on Facebook,” the blog post said. This feature is currently only available to Gear VR users outside the United States, but Oculus said it would roll out the function to everyone with a Samsung smartphone running the latest version of Android in the coming weeks.

Additionally, the company launched Oculus Events, which makes it easier to find friends and enter a public VR experience. Oculus Home will highlight some events, while the Events tab will offer a full roster of events to join. Also in the Events tab, users can set reminders for future events, or they can jump into one that is live at that moment.

Lastly, the company has introduced Oculus Voice for both Gear VR and Oculus Rift, offering speech recognition capability. Similar to how virtual assistants work, “This feature lets you perform voice searches from Oculus Home to intuitively navigate games, apps and experiences,” the blog post explained.

Oculus said these new features are just the beginning and it plans to continue building social VR features.

The video below shows off the new Facebook streaming feature. To learn more about the updates, visit the Oculus blog site.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at sravipati@1105media.com.

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