F8: Facebook unveils Oculus Venues for VR live streaming
Facebook execs yesterday took the wraps off Oculus Venues, a new social events app which will deliver virtual-reality (VR) live events, including concerts and sporting events, to users of its Oculus Go and Gear VR headsets.
Oculus Venues – developed in partnership with NextVR, Live Nation’s VR company of choice – combines live social engagement with the VR event experience, allowing fans to watch live music, sports and comedy along with their friends and potentially “thousands of other people” in virtual reality. The app launches on Oculus Go and Gear VR on 30 May.
In addition to Live Nation, NextVR’s other content partners include several top-level sports leagues and companies, including the National Basketball Association (NBA), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), the National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL).
Launch partnerships for Oculus Venues include New York’s famed Gotham Comedy Club; School Night, a club night at Bardot Hollywood showcasing up-and-coming artists; and International Champions Cup, the global football competition.
“Oculus Venues is a bold move to provide profound social VR engagement”
“Oculus Venues is a bold move to provide profound social VR engagement, and we are honoured to deliver such an important part of this new product release from Oculus,” says David Cole, NextVR’s co-founder and CEO.
“NextVR has built a passionate fan base around leading VR content experiences. Venues will satisfy our fans who want to enjoy this type of content on a massively social scale.”
Facebook has owned Oculus since 2014, when it acquired the VR hardware platform for a reported US$3bn.
According to VR Scout, the first Oculus Venues show will be a performance by Vance Joy, in partnership with AEG.
A short video released by Road to VR (via Oculus) shows the platform in action at a football match:
Other innovations unveiled at Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8, which kicked off yesterday morning, include a dating feature, FaceDate, video chat for Instagram, a ‘clear history’ function and Oculus TV, which allows Oculus users to watch television inside their headsets.