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Facebook Horizon takes the social network into a world of virtual reality

Oculus and Facebook have announced Horizon, a new virtual reality experience which blends the world of social networking with unique, interactive instances. 

Unveiled during today’s Oculus Connect presentation, Facebook Horizon is a new experience launching in 2020 which will put both users and creators at the forefront of its world. 

You can meet up with well-worn friends from across the social network or strangers from all over the world by exploring worlds both curated by Oculus or engineered by users themselves using a variety of different tools. 

It was showcased using a sickly sweet CGI trailer following a woman exploring the virtual world while interlaced with live-action footage. None of its jokes really landed, but the sense of whimsy did a great job translating what Horizon is all about. 

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Some of the activities teased during the announcement trailer including riding around in virtual aeroplanes or partaking in rounds of lazer-tag with both friends and strangers from across the internet. It reminds me of VR Chat, albeit with fewer creepy anime avatars waltzing around.

It reminds us of a fully-featured virtual world which will grow alongside the wider adoption of virtual and augmented reality in the future, and it’s clear Facebook and Oculus are keen to build foundations now and advance upon them going forward.

Alongside Facebook Horizon, Oculus Connect also saw a bunch of other announcements made around virtual reality. Oculus Quest, the standalone wireless headset, will receive a link cable for connecting to gaming PCs this November, allowing access to a huge variety of games.

Hand-tracking is also coming in 2020, which means you won’t even need controllers to navigate menus and a select number of applications. Some details on this remain unconfirmed, but tease a bunch of exciting possibilities for VR.

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