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Facebook Preps Its Infrastructure For a Virtual Reality Future (datacenterfrontier.com) 53

1sockchuck writes: Facebook is building a new generation of open hardware, part of its vision for powerful data centers that will use artificial intelligence and virtual reality to deliver experiences over the Internet. At the Open Compute Summit, Facebook shared details of its work to integrate more SSDs, GPUs, NVM and a "Just a Bunch of Flash" storage sled to accelerate its infrastructure. The company's infrastructure ambitions are also powered by CEO Mark Zuckerberg's embrace of virtual reality, reflected in the $2 billion acquisition of VR pioneer Oculus. "Over the next decade, we're going to build experiences that rely more on technology like artificial intelligence and virtual reality," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "These will require a lot more computing power."
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Facebook Preps Its Infrastructure For a Virtual Reality Future

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  • meet your friends, associates or colleagues in a VR land. Some foxy minx approaches you and tells you she's in your area and looking for lurve, and if you don't like her, there are 100s of others nearby.

  • by muecksteiner ( 102093 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @04:51AM (#51698637)

    After all these years, VR is still a technology desperately looking for a problem that it is actually needed for. Sure, Oculus headsets are nifty things: but outside some niche applications, actually useful they are not.

    Either Mr. Zuckerberg has a vision that no one else is capable of seeing yet, or they are going to waste an enormous amount of money on what amounts to a buzzword frenzy.

    • Porn can guarantee success for VR as a mass market product on its own, although it will take some plausible excuse offer like 3D movies, games, or Second Life. And once a lot of people have the headsets, it makes sense for Facebook to include some rich content for them.

      It would also suit them well, because a lot of Facebook posts are about impressive visuals.

      You can also expect some VR analogs to Instagram, Coub, etc., which will also spread via Facebook. They don't have to switch to full "Second Life m

    • by tiberus ( 258517 )
      Because well, Second Life [wikipedia.org] needs competition, welcome to Second Face...
    • I think VR offers something that is incredibly valuable in today's modern world - escapism. That is why we read novels, go to movies, drink alcohol, and travel the world - to escape from our normal existence. Most of the people I have talked to who are skeptical about VR have interesting jobs, good social lives, and enough money to entertain themselves with gadgets or travel on demand. But the reality is that the masses don't have these things. They mostly work in boring repetitive jobs, and can't afford to

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      "After all these years, VR is still a technology desperately looking for a problem that it is actually needed for."

      Surgical training without needing to waste materials on dummies or having the students (usually 5th or 6th year) doing the work on a live patient for a grade.

      Given proper physics simulations and haptic feedback, ingredient prep training for cooking.

      I could think of many very viable applications for 'VR' and I can think of many technologies that would originate from VR yet get applied to usage i

    • by PJ6 ( 1151747 )

      After all these years, VR is still a technology desperately looking for a problem that it is actually needed for. Sure, Oculus headsets are nifty things: but outside some niche applications, actually useful they are not.

      You just don't know what you're talking about.

  • Where is the extended use usability study, I am still waiting for those reports where a bunch of people use VR over an extended time period. What are they like after the first hour, then the second hour and then the third, fourth and fifth hour, can they even make it psychological intact to twelve hours (not unrealistic as they are claiming it as a work tool and those people are entitled to some time off so four more hours). Seriously, WTF, they have invested billions and could not afford to pay for a volu

    • by jeti ( 105266 )
      VR has been in use for decades, mostly by the military. Did you actually look for studies before posting this?
      • VR has been in use for decades, mostly by the military. Did you actually look for studies before posting this?

        Military use is more in the area of augmented reality, rather than what most people would think of as virtual reality.

    • After the first hour? 90% of people will be physically sick from VR after about 15 minutes. Go try it yourself and find out what happens!
  • I would LOVE to buy me a shiny new VR headset (and accompanying shiny new graphics card), but I have to pay off my debts for my shiny new 3D TV first.
  • A lot of people who use facebook a lot seem to use a phone and casually post what they are doing. There may be some people who want to cut themselves off in a VR headset, but this is not the way my kids use it and I don't think they'd want to really
    • Facebook already allows you to set aside some posts for later viewing, and many smartphones are already VR compatible. So there will be some additional friction, but this can work to some degree.
    • by dave420 ( 699308 )

      Well I'll be sure to let Facebook know so they can shut the whole operation down. Thanks for sharing your wonderful insight, Mr. Represents-All-People-Everywhere.

      • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
        Be sure to react to something in your head as opposed to what the dude actually said.
    • AThere may be some people who want to cut themselves off in a VR headset, but this is not the way my kids use it and I don't think they'd want to really

      Imagine an entire subway car full of people wearing VR headsets, how would you tell which ones are actually homicidal robots?

  • by Tom ( 822 )

    Virtual Reality - where IT celebrities go to die. The eternal hype. It's been "the next big thing" for as long as I know computers, and I'm fucking ancient.

  • FB should worry about becoming irrelevant in that timeframe. Younger generation does not find their offering compelling (and decidedly stays out). Average user age on FB keeps going up.
    In the meantime, the ex-timeline is less and less useful. Without intervention mine tends to bring up the least interesting, most annoying posts (though perhaps FB is trying to keep my interest by an equivalent of automated trolling?). It takes a daily effort to keep pruning out posts I don't want to see and explicitly visit

  • How is it, with all the problems in the world, our current technological leaders fail at solving any of them?
    • by Tom ( 822 )

      Why you think they see them as problems at all? For most wealthy people, the financial crisis was a present from heaven, they made a killing. It's regular people who lost their life savings, have you read about even one business celebrity having to sell even one of his yachts or villas?

      They don't fix what - for them - is not a problem.
      Unless (Gates) the reputation to be gained is worth the effort.

      • For me, it is very difficult to relate to these people. It seems to be a human thing to look around you at the world and do what you can for it. That's not to say the business I am starting won't make money, since a business has to be viable, but I would never think of an idea that didn't make the world better for every one in some way. Empty people make empty businesses I guess.
        • by Tom ( 822 )

          That is the thing. That is why we don't "get" the 0.01% - they are a completely different species from us. I have some insight into this society through 2nd hand experience and some of it is unbelievable. Bending the rules is absolutely normal there, expected even. To interpret every world event in the context of "what advantage can I take from it" is 2nd nature. To go into every shop, every business talk, every social event and every friendship with the "what can I get from this, and can I get it cheaper?"

          • That's a sad way to live. I've known people that participate in that game and they are rarely happy.
            • by Tom ( 822 )

              As they see it, it's better to be unhappy on your private yacht with a cocktail in your hand and ten girls competing to suck your dick then to be happy in a dirty one-room appartment looking for a temp job.

  • In many areas of the world, including shamefully plenty of parts of the USA, you struggle to get much past dial-up speed.
    My whizz-bang latest cellphone included; outside perfect conditions even viewing a low-res video on Youtube can be painful.
    So, how will the FB servers pump VR-quality output to us?

  • Grand plans indeed. Is this the same company that still has its infrastructure in php? Why does the "myspace" word pop into my head?

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