Meet My Virtual Self!

Looking back over the last 12 months, I guess there is a lot that can be said about what is happening in the world, but, I’m virtually blown away (did you like what I did there?) by where we’re potentially heading with VR.

Back in 2016, Facebook launched the VR spaces, which allows you to virtually connect with others. Utilising the ability of VR to feel like you’re in the room altogether when in fact you can be miles away. This tool allows you to have a virtual you, allowing others to see you as your own virtual character (an avatar).

Here’s a snapshot demo from back in 2016:

There have been improvements since being launched this year now titled ‘Facebook Spaces’, which massively promotes the personal use of VR and coming together with others differently. The capabilities are quite literally crazy. You have the ability to call others, presenting in the physical form via FaceTime, whilst in the virtual form as your avatar, you decide the setting. This could be the park, even Hawaii or just in your own home. There are various tools, but some of the quirky options are the ability to take selfies within the group allowing you to post straight to Facebook, or for those of us who are not self-promoters you can just hang out and have sword fights or even play cards.

Take a look at the promo:

Facebook also most recently back in October launched the affordable VR set Oculus, VR sets have normally been used for gaming or an immersive experience. The industry predicted it would be a massive hit and take off in great ways. There is no denying it’s developing a market in the gaming world and for movie watching. But involving this element of personal communication to it is something Facebook believe could be the next big thing. Could this be under your tree next year?

Take a look:

Launching in 2018 – delivering the same options as most VR sets do, but allowing the sync up with ‘Facebook Spaces’ and apparently more affordable, so they say!

This VR world has caused quite a topic of discussion. Recently, I was at a networking event and someone mentioned about what Facebook was doing. They commented ‘does this mean the physical you could no longer be needed’, ‘are we adapting to a world where you just become the puppet master of yourself’. Bizarrely, it could be seen this way, it’s an element of living in a fantasy world.  I found this quite alarming to think people would be thinking like this. I don’t believe we could ever get to this point. Where being somewhere physical isn’t the way we hang out or attend things.

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Digital technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and for some, it can feel like you’re playing constant catch up to what’s next. This virtual world should enhance and help with communicating. But I don’t see us all deciding to have a virtual dinner on Christmas day rather than having everyone physically around a table, or is that the direction we’re heading?

It brings an element of fun to the way we communicate, a new way of creatively sharing a message, or coming together from various locations across the globe. The biggest question you need to ask, is it right for you or the audience you’re trying to deliver to.

Why do I need it? It could just be a bit of fun, whether this is right for you or not. But I have to say I’m looking forward being a virtual me.

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Ryan Curtis-Johnson – Head of PR & Marketing at drp

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