Virtual reality will supposedly let us immersively interact with people thousands of miles away. It can put us in the shoes of documentarians, and transform living rooms into undersea adventures. But on stage at F8, Facebook's annual developer conference, it was used to take a selfie.
Mike Schroepfer, CTO of Facebook, discussed the potential for VR to change the way we interact with people, specifically something called "social presence," or the idea you can interact with someone virtually if you're both wearing VR headsets with hand controls. Soon, Facebook says, the technology will track our movements and almost invisible gestures, making the interactions within virtual space closer to human.
He put on Oculus and jumped into a VR demo with product manager Michael Booth, accessing the simulation in Menlo Park, California, Facebook's headquarters.The pair wandered around 360-photos blown up to look fully-immersive, and in Piccadilly Circus in London, Schroepfer and Booth stopped to take a selfie with a virtual selfie stick. Schroepfer then uploaded it to his Facebook page right from the simulation. It wasn't a real selfie though—their avatars were rather generic-looking bobbing heads with ties drawn on. But you know, welcome to the future or whatever.