When Facebook unveiled its vision for the metaverse, it gave us a sneak peek into the future of entertainment and connection. Facebook’s metaverse presents endless opportunities to work, play, connect with others and do more.
Facebook (now Meta) launched Horizon, a social platform focused on helping people create and interact with one another in the metaverse.
Horizon Venues, previously known as Venues, is one of the flagship offerings of Horizon and joins the leagues of Horizon Home, Horizon Workrooms, and Horizon Worlds.
In this article, we will explore the possibilities of Horizon Venues and its ability to transform how we experience entertainment.
The Meta promo video introduces Horizon Venues as the “next level of events.” There’s no stone left unturned as Met plans to revolutionise how people connect.
Horizon Venues is a step towards that vision and guarantees users the best seats in the house, as it were, both literally and figuratively. It’s like acquiring the prized seats for the Premier League or the front row seats at a Broadway show, with a near life-like experience.
So, what is Horizon Venues? It is a digital experience powered by advanced technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality. Imagine this — you’re sitting at home, and your friend is at an Ed Sheeran concert.
With Horizon Venues and a Quest VR headset, you can join them without actually leaving your room. As your avatar joins the show, you will also be able to buy virtual merchandise and hang out with friends and peers.
While it is still under development, you can experience beta access to Horizon Venues with your Oculus Quest 2 headsets and Facebook profile.
You can even keep track of upcoming events and set reminders on your calendar using the event list for Horizon Venues here.
Interoperability at the Core of Horizon
Horizon Venues is an entertainment flagship with interoperability at its core. It simply aligns with the vision Mark Zuckerberg expressed in his Facebook Connect 2021 keynote presentation.
When Meta launched Horizon as a part of the metaverse, they planned to create interconnected virtual spaces where people can socialise seamlessly. You can jump from one virtual space to another with your headsets on.
Think of it like this — you’re at your Horizon Home (a virtual home-like space with cosy surroundings) and someone calls you on Messenger to join them at an event. So, you step out of your digital home and step into the event venue.
Further, Meta encourages developers to power in immersive experiences by designing compatible products and engineering innovative technologies.
Take, for instance, the Presence Platform, a collection of AI capabilities and machine perception. The Presence Platform features Spatial Anchors, Passthrough, and Scene Understanding to help developers create simulations of the physical world.
Using these features, developers can build mixed reality and voice experiences to blend the virtual world with tangible aspects.
The spatial audio component, for instance, can be a powerful tool if integrated with Horizon Venues.
Spatial audio engages users in an immersive experience by utilising a 360 technique to simulate reality. In doing so, it enables you to hear the audio from all directions.
When users listen to spatial audio, it feels like the sound is coming from every direction like three-dimensional sound in the real world.
Now, imagine yourself in a parade. You will be able to experience the sounds from the direction from where they are coming, the tableaus as they pass by, and the crowd cheering as if you are right at the moment.
What’s more, with Venues’ interoperability features, you can jump back to Horizon Home, change into a different outfit, and switch to a different event, like a learning seminar.
Or, you could teleport into your Workroom and attend a meeting.
Unlike some of Meta’s other offerings, Horizon Venues is already launched and ready for use.
Here are some of the things to keep in mind as you try out its features:
Do I need a Facebook Account for using Horizon Venues?
Horizon Venues is accessible for Oculus Quest 2 users. New users will require a Facebook account to log in to apps, devices, and the Oculus store.
If you do not have a Facebook account, you can create a new profile from the Oculus app itself.
Can I have a separate Facebook Account for my VR self?
Facebook wants people to know them by their actual names to ensure security for all users.
If you prefer a unique personalisation for your VR character or want to restrict visibility to certain users or groups, you can set the privacy of your name to ‘Only Me’ in your Oculus Quest settings. This prevents other users from finding you.
What are the available modes in Horizon Venues?
Venues, now Horizon Venues, is available with Early Beta Access. As of now, it supports both multiplayer and single-user modes, along with sitting and standing player modes.
You can use Horizon Venues for music, sports, social, and learning events.
What happens to my data when I use Quest headsets to run Horizon Venues?
Meta has announced transparent data policies to uphold the safety and security of users in the metaverse.
The data received from your Oculus and Facebook accounts while running Horizon Venues will be used to improve your experience in the virtual space.
They also use your data to promote the safety and integrity of their products and services.
Does Horizon Venues support Oculus Touch?
Yes – Oculus Touch is a motion controller system for Oculus Quest headsets that creates the feeling of using your hands in VR.
They function as a single gamepad, enabling Quest to run full-motion tracking of your hands in Horizon Venues. With this, you can reach out and wave your hands as you would at an actual concert and do much more.