Facebook is working on teleportation. No, not the “beam me up, Scotty,” type that could have you in New York for lunch and home in Palo Alto by dinnertime. But still, it sounds pretty cool.
The social media platform will use the Oculus Rift headset to build a fully functional teleporter by 2025, according to Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer speaking at a press event at the Dublin Web Summit on Tuesday.
What does the company mean by this? Instead of transporting someone’s entire body, the tech will trick the user’s senses with virtual reality, making them believe they are in an entirely different location.
“Facebook wants to build a device that allows you to be anywhere you want, with anyone, regardless of geographic boundaries,” Schroepfer said, according to Business Insider.
The first consumer Oculus Rift is set to ship early next year. While it makes a great gaming device, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is eagerly looking for other uses for its $2 billion acquisition.
So how will you teleport in 2025?
While Oculus Rift already lets users to see virtual environments, no one is going to be fully convinced they’re in another place unless they can also touch. Oculus Touch controllers allow users to interact with their environment, as well as see their own hands. The controllers are expected to launch in the second quarter of 2016.
Between the Rift and the Touch, users will be able to capture expressions that will help generate a realistic avatar that can be seen by other users.
Oculus acquired 3-D mapping company Surreal Vision in May of this year. The startup is working on tech that could restructure real life into virtual reality in real time.
The Oculus Touch controllers will come with a program called Medium that will let users create objects in their virtual environment. The user-friendly program will allow anyone who uses Oculus will be able to build their own virtual worlds.
So essentially the user could construct a world and meet with a new client for coffee in Paris, without ever leaving his cubicle. While not true teleportation, it still beats the Starbucks on the corner.
In addition to earmarking Oculus for teleportation, as of last year Facebook has been in talks with executives at all the major film studios about creating narrative content specifically for the Oculus Rift.