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Facebook have announced at a recent conference that they are going to be launching a fully immersive virtual environment called Horizon, in which they are hoping to tempt people into spending more time in a virtual world. The software will become a plethora of social places in which people can mingle, chat and play games with each other. There will be a cartoon avatar that people will control and, with the app software being available in early 2020; will be beta tested by a small  group of Facebook users.

Facebook made this software development announcement at their recent Oculus connect 6 developer conference this week. The idea is that people using Horizon will be able to speak to and interact with guides within the virtual world that will show them around the software until people become more familiar with what they are doing. It is important to note however that these guides will not be seen as moderators; in a furthering of the ongoing row of content moderators on social media platforms. Tools will however be included to allow users to choose and manage how they interact with other users within the virtual software environment.

There will also be a number of different tools available that will allow people to shape and create the part of the environment that they are a part of; think Minecraft but in VR. Coupled with designing their own avatars, users will have full control over creating a bespoke software experience for themselves. The entire world is designed to have a cartoon feel which will help out in the long run because it will mean the Oculus Quest headsets; of which it has been designed for, do not need to handle such high resolution graphics.

Reporting for Ars Technica, Sam Machkovech tried out Facebook’s new Horizon software; describing the fact that Facebook had put “a ton of work” into the version that he was able to test. One criticism that he did have was that it just seemed like another jumble of apps, chat and avatars that Facebook was trying to make work in order to tempt users into using it.

“We’re still waiting for Facebook to inspire confidence that it will launch a social-VR app and stick with it for more than two years,”

Another major competitor in the VR software world is the smartphone and technology giant Samsung. They have also recently announced that they were going to be dropping their support for the Gear VR technology that was present in the Galaxy Note 10 smartphone. They also announced that neither the Note 10 or the Note 10 plus would be compatible with their Gear VR system. The thinking behind this is that as standalone VR devices such as Facebook’s Oculus Quest become more widely available, the interest will eventually drop in mobile phone devices with VR software instilled within them.

Samsung’s statement on the technology was:

”We remain committed to innovating in VR and AR to deliver incredible new experiences to our consumers,” Samsung tells The Verge.

While it is unrealistic of us to talk about how businesses can start to adopt virtual reality into their day-to-day operations (although viewing spreadsheets and inputting data may be infinitely more interesting and cool if it were done through some sort of virtual reality game…), what can we learn from the technology industry’s acceptance and adaptation of virtual reality?

Firstly, it is interesting to note how the industry has adapted and overcome the changing environment in which virtual reality software has been developing. It may seem like a million years ago but it wasn’t that long until people were wearing 3D glasses in the cinema; 3D glasses came with the brand new TV sets and we were treated to a window into the future with Google Glass. These exciting innovations came at a time where it was almost expected that Virtual and Augmented reality were what people wanted. But, as we all know – consumer expectation and desire is completely different and that’s what is happening to Virtual Reality.

Adapting to these unexpected changes is something extremely important in ensuring that you are future proofing your business. Having systems and software that can grow, change and adapt with your business is extremely important because of this reason. One of the best examples in this case is of course virtual reality software as aforementioned – having the software built into mobile phones will eventually become defunct as standalone versions become cheaper – external pressures proving the nail in the coffin for this software.

So with this in mind, make sure that your business software has the ability to adapt and overcome any potential external and internal pressures that could cause off the shelf solutions to become obsolete. With bespoke software you can create, customise and adapt it to the needs of you, your staff and the business; no matter what happens on the outside of the company. If you would like to find out more information about how Kaleida could help you on this journey, take a look here at our top reasons for using bespoke software, or click here to get in touch with us today.

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