Ever since Facebook purchased Oculus for a cool $2 billion back in June of 2014, the company has made it clear that social VR is going to be a big new frontier for the company. They’ve showed off virtual avatar prototypes in the past, but none have been quite as advanced as what they displayed today. This morning in the opening keynote of Oculus Connect 3 in San Jose, the company officially announced Oculus Avatars and Oculus Rooms.
Oculus Avatars are pretty much exactly what the name describes. Through a variety of selective options, users can create their own virtual representation of themselves to use in collaborative environments such as pool halls. Players can choose from different hair styles, eyewear, clothing, and colors to show off their own personal look, which should help to distinguish you from your peers. There will also be a developer API available which should enable creators to further the variety and customization users can have, so we’re excited to see what kinds of crazy outfits people will whip up. The Avatars feature will be launching alongside Oculus’ Touch controllers on December 6th, and will help to change the way you interact with your friends in virtual reality.
The company also announced something it is calling Oculus Rooms, giving friends an interactive space where they can hang out and do all sorts of virtual things. The space which was showed off in the keynote this morning showed off a group of people watching videos on a virtual TV as well as playing a variety of mini-games. While we’ve seen these sort of spaces present as standalone applications, Oculus Spaces is accessible from Oculus Home or any of the main menus within the Rift. The company is also releasing a developer API for use in these spaces, meaning the number of things users can do should grow substantially post-launch.
We’ll be sure to check out both these new features once they launch alongside Oculus’ Touch on December 6th.
Stick around for more news here at Oculus Connect 3.