Facebook Begins Public Beta Testing for Its New Virtual Reality Space, Horizon
Users will be able to interact through custom avatars within the ‘Ready Player One’-like universe.
While traveling and IRL socializing have become activities of the past due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Facebook is working to make in-person interactions possible through Horizon, its new virtual reality space. Following its development stages, the tech giant has finally announced that Horizon will be going through a phase of invite-only public beta testing.
Reminiscent of the 2018 film Ready Player One, Facebook’s latest project is a virtual world, where users can build their own space, interact with others and even create their own games. Although we’re unsure as to whether the VR technology will arrive as an app, gamespace or a separate social networking service, the company has mentioned that Horizon is “an ever-expanding universe of virtual experiences designed and built by the entire community.” This means that, just like Steven Spielberg‘s film, users will be able to hang out and chat with one another using custom avatars, and can also engage in activities built within the space.
According to first-hand accounts as reported by outlets like Engadget, the VR universe features a creation mode for building custom three-dimensional environments, as well as a live game show titled Interdimensional. “In many ways, it reminded me of the white void from The Matrix — a room filled with limitless potential and creativity. Within a few minutes, my guide turned the empty space into a virtual beach, complete with sand, water and a golden sunset horizon,” editor Devindra Hardawar shared.
Facebook’s newest addition couldn’t come at a better time, as COVID-19 has been restricting people from traveling to meet friends and family. The VR space is currently available on Oculus‘ Quest and the Rift platforms in the U.S. and Canada.
Stay tuned as we learn more about Facebook Horizon, which will likely take the stage at the tech company’s upcoming annual VR conference, Facebook Connect, on September 16. In the meantime, head over to Oculus’ website to join the waitlist for the beta version.
- Image Credit