Mark Zuckerberg used Facebook livestream today to promote the recently released Oculus Rift, and he gave viewers a peek into what it’s like to open a new box and roam the halls of Facebook headquarters. He also enlightened people on what it’s like to be the head honcho in a building full of programmers.
Like all videos using the new Facebook livestream feature, it begins … awkwardly.
The livestream (a recording of which can be seen on Zuckerberg’s Facebook page) starts out with a shot of paintings on the company walls and employees snapping into single file and awkwardly shuffling past Zuck. Then he tries to get into the vision lab, but fails because he’s locked out.
Zuck and Iribe join hands in a high five-turned-handshake like they’re about to summon the Thundercats. Finally, familiarity and comfort between boss and employee shows through, and it’s time to get down to business regarding the Oculus Rift.
Zuckerberg has a lot of money riding on the Oculus’ success. Facebook put $2 billion into the four-year-old company two years ago, and faces stiff competition from other VR creators: the HTC Vive comes out in May and PlayStation VR comes out in October. Much of the information the trio discussed is already known, but Zuck took the conversation a bit further in a Q&A session by discussing what’s next.
“The whole point of VR, what makes it different, is you feel like you’re there,” Zuckerberg said. “We’re talking about this concept of presence.”
Currently, the Oculus Rift uses an Xbox 1 controller. Two hand controllers shaped to fit your hand and “designed for long term playing” are in the near future though, and the feeling of actually being there will only increase.
“Instead of trying to convince yourself that you’re there, you’re actually trying to convince yourself that you’re not actually there, trying to convince yourself that it’s not a real thing, which is kind of a trippy experience,” Zuckerberg said about getting sucked into a VR video game. “But when we do our jobs well, you really feel like you’re there.”
Whether you’re playing The Climb, one of Iribe’s favorites, or Lucky’s Tale, Zuck’s favorite, the goal of Oculus Rift is to make you lose yourself (which may or may not have ethical and legal complications). More advanced interfaces and experiences are still in development — like the Oculus Rift-powered virtual desktop — to make total immersion possible, so Zuckerberg won’t be stopping to celebrate the Oculus release any time soon.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Zuckerberg said, using his executive power to hint at ending the 25 minute livestream. “So we should probably wrap up now and get back to work.”
Watch the full video of Zuckerberg showing off Oculus.