Virtual reality: Samsung and Facebook want to carve out the biggest slice of the pie

by bold-lichterman

Turn of the scene at Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2016: Mark Zuckerberg appeared alongside DJ Kohn, president of Samsung’s mobile division, in full presentation of the brand’s star phones, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Facebook has chosen the Korean manufacturer to position itself in the virtual reality market. The social network has come to announce several partnerships to come with the Korean giant in order to install, initially on phones, a “social” dimension to VR.

Concretely, the boss of Facebook is associated with the Gear VR headset developed by Samsung. This will be equipped with 360 ° video streaming developed by Oculus, the subsidiary of the American. Facebook bought the start-up, created in 2012, for $ 2 billion in 2014. In a blog post, Facebook describes this new experience: “It allows you to feel that you are present (in the scene) while watching the video”. 20,000 video formats have been downloaded since the launch at the end of 2015. It is in the sharing functionalities, and on all mobile media, that Facebook also intends to make the difference.

Because Facebook is not the only one to want to take the leadership in the emerging market of virtual reality. Firstly, smartphone manufacturers, such as HTC, which will launch the “Vive” headset at 800 dollars in April, or 200 euros more than the Oculus Rift. But also LG with its new 360-degree camera compatible with VR on its G5.

Competition will also come from other GAFAs, such as Apple, which has a team dedicated to virtual reality. For its part, Google announced at the start of the year the opening of a division dedicated to virtual reality. At the same time, other innovative start-ups (Jaunt, Next VR, CCP Games) are also entering this market.

At the Mobile Word Congress, Facebook and Samsung have therefore carefully prepared their staging.

Read also: 3 companies that want to create new experiences through virtual reality