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Facebook to develop virtual reality video app

virtual boys 1534290

Facebook to develop virtual reality video app

Social media giant Facebook is believed to be working on an app that would bring virtual reality to smartphones.

The app is said to allow users to view 360 degree videos on their smartphones, meaning they would be about to move around the video and view it from a different angle. This would be done by tilting and turning the device.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which has spoken to sources close to the social network, the app is still in the early phases of development. The company is believed to be bringing out the app on both Android and iOS devices, with a launch date for it still unclear.

Virtual reality is very much a part of Facebook’s plans for the future, with chief executive and founder of the site Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly predicting that virtual reality platforms are to become the next big computing platform once mobile devices have run their course.

This has been backed up with actions, as in March 2014, the American firm paid $2bn (£1.2bn) for Oculus VR, the virtual reality company behind the Oculus Rift headset designed for gaming purposes.

Although an app that provides a 360 degree view of a video would be less immersive than a virtual reality headset, it would help to give the social platform a presence in the virtual reality industry beyond its acquisition of Oculus. Additionally, it would allow the company to bring the technology to a wider audience.

Alan Littler

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