Mark Zuckerberg might be ready to take the Oculus Rift and virtual reality to new applications beyond video games. This afternoon, Facebook's CEO posted a photo of himself wearing the Rift (and Oculus Touch controller). "Getting ready to demo something new we've been building in virtual reality," he wrote in the description, adding that he'll be revealing the project at tomorrow's Oculus Connect presentation.
Zuckerberg has frequently commented on the many use cases for VR beyond games and entertainment. "After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences," he said in March 2014 when announcing Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR. "Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world, or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home." In the same post, Zuckerberg wrote "By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures."
Facebook has a team of employees dedicated to working on just those types of "social" virtual reality experiences. Here's what the company said about it in February:
We’ve created a Social VR team at Facebook focused entirely on exploring the future of social interaction in VR. This team will explore how people can connect and share using today’s VR technology, as well as long-term possibilities as VR evolves into an increasingly important computing platform. They’ll will work closely with Oculus and other teams at Facebook to build the foundation for tomorrow’s social VR experiences on all platforms.
"In the future, VR will enable even more types of connection," Facebook wrote in that blog post. "Like the ability for friends who live in different parts of the world to spend time together and feel like they’re really there with each other." Tomorrow could reveal the next chapter — or at least the beginning of it — in the grand vision that Zuckerberg and Facebook have for Oculus. The Verge will be live at Oculus Connect, so you'll want to follow along to see whatever's in store.