Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance at the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge at the Samsung Galaxy 2016 Unpacked event going on at MWC 2016 in Barcelona.
Lending support to DJ Koh, President Mobile Communications Business at Samsung, Mark shared the successes that Samsung Gear VR has experienced till date.
He first talked about how “VR is the next platform where anyone can create or experience what they want”, using capturing his daughter’s first steps as an example. Then he mentioned that “more than one million hours of video have already been watched in Gear VR. So we’ve only just started to explore what’s possible with video in VR”. He also explained that “already over a million people are watching 360 video on Facebook, more than 20,000 of them have been uploaded, and hundreds of new ones are added every day”. Despite those awesome statistics, he said it was “still really early for 360 videos”.
“Gear VR is by far the best mobile experience and that’s because it combines the best hardware from Samsung with the best VR software from Facebook with Oculus.”
“Pretty soon, we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re right there in person,” added Zuckerberg.
The Samsung Gear VR was introduced into the consumer market on the 27th of November 2015.
Mark also talked about the increased effort towards bringing a ‘Social VR’ experience to the platform, with a partnership from Samsung.
Facebook reiterated this in a blog post released today
As we continue to make big breakthroughs in the technology behind VR, we’re also investing in efforts to explore immersive new VR experiences that will help people connect and share. We’ve already helped people connect in a wide variety of ways on mobile devices — ranging from Facebook and Instagram to Messenger and WhatsApp — and now we want to apply that same approach to the new medium of VR. In the future, VR will enable even more types of connection — 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.
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 possibilites 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.