While augmented reality seems to gain more focus in the next few years, virtual reality is the next phase, enabling more comprehensive, inclusive online experiences that will allow people to connect in all new ways without leaving their homes.
Applications for VR are huge and growing every day, especially in the midst of the growing shift of “work from home”. And now, Facebook is looking toward that next level of connectivity, with a new $ 10 million funding program designed to encourage VR creators to help build the next social and interactive platforms in a VR environment.
As you can see in this clip, the newly named “Horizon Worlds” experience provides a virtual sandbox for creators that looks pretty simple for now, but is getting more complex every day.
As Facebook explained:
“In the last year, we have delivered a number of new features to Horizon Worlds that have made it easier to create complex worlds and greatly expanded the upper limit of what can be built. Did you have an idea for a game or an experience and simply never had the right set of tools to bring that vision to life? If you’ve ever dreamed of building your own paintball game, social space to socialize, stunning escape room, collection of board games or even a racing experience where you fly through town on a broom, this is the time to join Horizon Worlds and build with us.”
New funds will be allocated through three streams designed to stimulate different elements of the VR experience:
- Community competitions – Facebook is launching a series of competitions for creators, which will reward developers for building ‘the best worlds on the Horizon’. The program will offer up to $ 10,000 cash prizes for the winners.
- Acceleration program – Facebook’s Creator Accelerator Program, specifically designed to provide people from different backgrounds with an ‘advanced course in creating Horizon Worlds’, will soon begin receiving applications for an expanded initiative that is set to begin in early 2022.
- Funding for developers – Finally, Facebook also wants to provide funding for developers, studios or creators who are interested in creating experiences for Horizon on a particular topic.
Each of these elements will play a key role in building a VR environment and ensuring that Facebook remains at the forefront of that next phase.
Which is becoming increasingly important for the company. The data shows that Facebook is constantly losing contact with younger audience groups, which could eventually lead to its platforms losing relevance, reducing the company’s presence in favor of newer, growing internet trends.
But if Facebook can own the next technological change, in terms of AR and VR connectivity, it could greatly mitigate such a decline, with the platform becoming more useful in VR and AR, which could ensure it remains an essential linking tool in the future .
Indeed, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already said he sees Facebook becoming a ‘metaversion company’, pointing to the next change, and if Facebook can own that space and become a framework for more inclusive connectivity, it will reduce its reliance on social networking apps and set up it for constant expansion and growth.
This is why funding like this is so important – and while it may not yet apply directly to you and you may not feel like you will be buying VR headsets in the next three years, trends would suggest that many people will, as VR evolves , and provided more opportunities, in more ways, to facilitate the next phase.
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