Jump to content
Political Discussion Forums
Boges

WTF is Facebook doing?

Recommended Posts

I know Zucky is smarter than all of us, but Facebook has made two purchases recently that are real headscratchers.

http://time.com/37920/facebook-buys-oculus/

The world's biggest social network is no longer satisfied with just being a social network.

I was sitting in a briefing this afternoon with a tech startup, tapping notes on my iPad, when an e-mail notification popped up at the top of my screen: “Oculus Joins Facebook.” I had to restrain myself from doing a double-take and wondering aloud: “Does that mean what I think it means?

Sure does. Facebook is acquiring Oculus VR, the maker of the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, for $2 billion in stock and cash. It’s a huge deal — potentially a bigger one than last month’s Facebook shocker, its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, in every aspect except the money involved.


That’s because Oculus is building something that feels potentially as transformative as the graphical user interface, the mouse, the touchscreen, speech recognition or any of the other elements that have changed the way we interact with technology in the past. What it gives you — a 3D world you can explore by looking up, down and all around you — will be spectacular for games. But it’s not hard to imagine future versions of the technology being applied to other sorts of activities we perform using computing devices. Such as — just to pick an example at random — social networking


Maybe I'm too old now, but Virtual Reality is not something I think I'll ever be truly interested in. The idea of Google Glasses have largely been met with derision by the media.

I think gaming, on the whole, is on the downward trend. The new consoles aren't being widely adopted and PC purchases are on a downward trend due to mobile device. I guess purchases like these are bets on potential future growth, but I just don't see a PC Gaming headset being the NEXT THING in gaming.

But the big headscratcher is spending $19 billion on WhatsApp. Like WTF! Their own Facebook Messenger App is comparable to WhatsApp. I actually like Facebook Messenger better.

Where is the revenue potential on an App like this. Even if everyone pays $1 (I have yet to be forced to pay for my WhatsApp) it's likely not worth $1 billion.

Edited by Boges

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I'm too old now, but Virtual Reality is not something I think I'll ever be truly interested in. The idea of Google Glasses have largely been met with derision by the media.

Sure, but you need to also think what is meant by "the media". It's a huge industry that is bleeding revenue like crazy due to facebook and the digital world. They are, in fact, "the" media now.

Where is the revenue potential on an App like this. Even if everyone pays $1 (I have yet to be forced to pay for my WhatsApp) it's likely not worth $1 billion.

Headscratchers abound, I most definitely agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I being sensationalist by thinking that people immersing themselves in a virtual reality for simple commuting is bad for society? Like people who make online gaming their second life?

I think having the internet everywhere you through a mobile device is a good type of progress for society, where we're all connected no matter where we go.

Virtual Reality headsets like these force you back into your parent's basement in-order to live a false life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Virtual Reality headsets like these force you back into your parent's basement in-order to live a false life.

Better there than driving down the road wearing them.

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/4317946-california-woman-charged-for-wearing-google-glasses-while-driving/

Edited by eyeball

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Valve (makers of Half-Life, Steam etc.) are building a VR headset, so is Sony for its Playstation 4, and now of course Facebook acquiring Oculus Rift. VR is the future of media, not only gaming, but watching movies/TV, pornography, and other entertainment, and an almost unlimited number of other applications (like virtual classrooms). Imagine a very simple thing like implementing Google Maps Street View into VR and being able to look around and even virtually walk around at almost any location in the world and feel like you are really there. Everyone who tries these new VR helmets are blown away. Facebook knows what they're doing here, even though I despise them as a company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tech can be amazing, but the question is if it'll be widely adopted for regular use. A virtual Maps App maybe cool, but how often am I going to use it when I can check a maps app on my phone?

3D Gaming and 3D Home Theatres were cool, for a bit, but they never became widely adopted by the masses.

I think the price point is the important thing. If this headset is $500 plus, I'm not sure if it'll used by a great deal of people. I guess we'll see.

Edited by Boges

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tech can be amazing, but the question is if it'll be widely adopted for regular use. A virtual Maps App maybe cool, but how often am I going to use it when I can check a maps app on my phone?

Phones will be considered cumbersome soon. Wearable tech like glasses and watches are likely the future and FB and Google do not want to be left behind. I imagine MySpace wishes it bought FB in the early days. Microsoft and others tried, but it was already too late at that point.

Imagine looking down a street through your Ray Bans for a restaurant and having little virtual signs pointing at each place on the block with ratings, menus, etc. Or looking at your plane tickets and getting instant flight time updates. Glass get around hands free and screen size problems. People want big screens, but also want their phones to fit in their pockets.

I think the price point is the important thing. If this headset is $500 plus, I'm not sure if it'll used by a great deal of people. I guess we'll see.

Tech that people want becomes inexpensive in a hurry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Occulus Rift is not that, nor is Google Glasses.

Perhaps these are pre-cursors but we'll almost have to have neural integration inorder for those things to be workable without looking like a tool in public.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phones will be considered cumbersome soon.

So why is each generation of smart phone getting bigger? The average size of the phone today is much larger than it was 10 years ago. That is because people want the bigger screens because they have better ergonomics. Edited by TimG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Occulus Rift is not that, nor is Google Glasses.

Perhaps these are pre-cursors but we'll almost have to have neural integration inorder for those things to be workable without looking like a tool in public.

Google is currently working with Oakley and Ray Ban to do just that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So why is each generation of smart phone getting bigger? The average size of the phone today is much larger than it was 10 years ago. That is because people want the bigger screens because they have better ergonomics.

Bigger phones offer better screens but can worsen ergonomics. Plus, they don't fit as well into pockets, hand bags, etc. Glasses solve the screen size problem. That's something that wearable tech like glasses and watches can handle. Currently, smart watches allow you to interact with your phone without taking it out. I expect that soon the phone will be unnecessary and watches will work in tandem with glasses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you would have to solve the problem of typing first. Voice recognition is good, but not all that great. Certainly doesn't replace a Qwerty keyboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tech can be amazing, but the question is if it'll be widely adopted for regular use. A virtual Maps App maybe cool, but how often am I going to use it when I can check a maps app on my phone?

3D Gaming and 3D Home Theatres were cool, for a bit, but they never became widely adopted by the masses.

I think the price point is the important thing. If this headset is $500 plus, I'm not sure if it'll used by a great deal of people. I guess we'll see.

The people making the Oculus are designing it to have a consumer-friendly price-point exactly so that it can be adopted by the masses as a consumer product.

VR is also very different from 3D movies & games. Most VR being developed now use 3D technology for their screens, but the whole point is that it brings an incredibly immersive experience because the screens over your eyes take up your entire field of view. If you jump out of an airplane in VR, or even watch a movie of it through VR, your mind thinks you are actually at those heights and doing it yourself.

5 years from now the problem won't be to convince people to buy a VR headset, the problem will be to convince people to stop using them so much and getting people back into reality. Some people even report having a VR-induced existential crisis after using it because when they're back in reality they aren't sure whether they're actually in reality or still in the VR world, and so they have to sit down and feel different real objects to convince themselves they're in reality.

I'm not going to keep trying to convince you on how amazing VR is with my words, it can't be explained unless you experience it for yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The people making the Oculus are designing it to have a consumer-friendly price-point exactly so that it can be adopted by the masses as a consumer product.

VR is also very different from 3D movies & games. Most VR being developed now use 3D technology for their screens, but the whole point is that it brings an incredibly immersive experience because the screens over your eyes take up your entire field of view. If you jump out of an airplane in VR, or even watch a movie of it through VR, your mind thinks you are actually at those heights and doing it yourself.

5 years from now the problem won't be to convince people to buy a VR headset, the problem will be to convince people to stop using them so much and getting people back into reality. Some people even report having a VR-induced existential crisis after using it because when they're back in reality they aren't sure whether they're actually in reality or still in the VR world, and so they have to sit down and feel different real objects to convince themselves they're in reality.

I'm not going to keep trying to convince you on how amazing VR is with my words, it can't be explained unless you experience it for yourself.

I remember that scene in Inception where people actually lived their "real" lives in a dream state.

I said earlier that VR popularity might actually be harmful for society. Why not just make reality the Matrix? Would be better for the environment.

These are the things of science fiction of course, but we may not be far off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you would have to solve the problem of typing first. Voice recognition is good, but not all that great. Certainly doesn't replace a Qwerty keyboard.

I agree, method of input is a major challenge. Mobile phones now use touchscreen. If we move to something like Google Glass eventually, I'd think a good input would be to touch an imaginary screen or buttons etc. that is projected in front of you in your vision by the glasses. The watch would be unnecessary, all you would need is the glasses and something like a bluetooth headset to take phone calls.

It would be insane if, eventually, they could combine something like Google Glass with VR into one device. As you said, the final step years down the line would probably be neural integration (rather than a holodeck), but I think that could be expensive for mass consumption at least at first (if it would require surgery).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's something that wearable tech like glasses and watches can handle. Currently, smart watches allow you to interact with your phone without taking it out. I expect that soon the phone will be unnecessary and watches will work in tandem with glasses.

I expect that outside of a few techies wearable tech will not get much traction because they don't offer the range of capabilities that people expect. For example, many times people will want to send text messages while being silent. They can do this with smart phones but not with wearable tech.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I said earlier that VR popularity might actually be harmful for society. Why not just make reality the Matrix? Would be better for the environment.

These are the things of science fiction of course, but we may not be far off.

Hmm I never thought of it like the Matrix, but yeah I guess those were essentially neural implants in those movies. We'll get there eventually. Yes there will be benefits and dangers I'd think. Becoming addicted to VR or a "Matrix"-like technology would be easy I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I expect that outside of a few techies wearable tech will not get much traction because they don't offer the range of capabilities that people expect. For example, many times people will want to send text messages while being silent. They can do this with smart phones but not with wearable tech.

If the input was voice-only I'd agree. But what if the wearable tech (like google glass) had an input method as I said earlier: to touch a virtual screen and/or buttons etc. that is projected in front of you in your vision by the glasses?

I once thought a big barrier would be looking like an idiot wearing the glasses, but lots of people walk around using bluetooth headsets and they look like idiots lol, so if they designed a pair of glasses that looked stylish it could be adopted by the masses if cheap enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But what if the wearable tech (like google glass) had an input method as I said earlier: to touch a virtual screen and/or buttons etc. that is projected in front of you in your vision by the glasses?

Not well suited for discrete texts while in a meeting or other social event. Smart phones are still better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you would have to solve the problem of typing first. Voice recognition is good, but not all that great. Certainly doesn't replace a Qwerty keyboard.

It's phenomenal now and getting better all the time...but that's partly why I see them being wirelessly tethered to smart watches and traditional smart phones.

Can't do selfies with glasses!

Lol...that's a feature not a problem. Though the watch still handles that. Edited by Mighty AC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's phenomenal now and getting better all the time...but that's partly why I see them being wirelessly tethered to smart watches and traditional smart phones.

Lol...that's a feature not a problem. Though the watch still handles that.

Yeah sure, having glasses or watches as accessories is something we're moving towards. I've been tempted getting a Smartwatch myself.

But to actually replace the phone? Not anytime soon.

It would take a huge change in the way the public viewed tech to have a Glasses-based UI that would replace a smartphone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering current phones were considered something akin to a Star Trek device 30 years ago, the prospect of wearable tech is easily imaginable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering current phones were considered something akin to a Star Trek device 30 years ago, the prospect of wearable tech is easily imaginable.

Flip-Phones maybe. The only things it was used for was to talk.

Smartphones are pretty much pocket computer. People often don't even use their phones to make calls anymore.

The list of things the smartphone replaces is quite long. Wearable text to replace the smartphone would also have to replace the stuff the smartphone does.

Glasses used to do your banking, glasses used as a calendar, glasses used as an alarm clock etc etc.

Edited by Boges

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, a new gadget doesn't have to replace everything a previous device does to catch on. For example tablets are less useful than laptops at many tasks, but better at others. If smart glasses and watches are more convenient for some common tasks they may still become widely used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...