clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hey, Want to Hang Out in My Virtual Living Room? Oculus Wants to Know.

Oculus and chill.

Original image: g-stockstudio / iStock; composite by Re/code

When you’re trying to open a virtual reality app on either the Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR, both of which are available to developers today but not yet in wide consumer release, you go through something called Oculus Home. One of the versions I’ve tried was a pristine, luxurious room with couches and hardwood floors, and a menu of apps floating in front of me.

So, it’s basically a futuristic twist on the Windows Start menu or your iPhone’s home screen. But based on a new survey being distributed by Oculus, the Facebook subsidiary is thinking about making that fake room a lot more interesting.

The brief three-part survey was emailed Thursday to people who had used a Samsung Gear VR. The first part covered basic demographic information and asked if respondents wore glasses; the second part covered Oculus Home; and the third asked about the Gear VR’s 360-degree photo-viewing app.

That middle section was the most interesting. Here’s a screenshot:

It’s just a fact that you’re going to look silly to the outside world while wearing any virtual reality headset. But using voice commands to open all your apps, Xbox Kinect style, would make you appear downright insane.

The idea of treating that home menu as a customizable social destination is intriguing, though. It would seem to be a natural fit of Oculus’ first social networking-minded demo, Toy Box, in which users in different meatspace rooms could play around with a shared group of virtual toys. And inviting people over to your place, maybe to talk or to go into a certain app at the same time, sounds like an approachable warm-up to the notion of a bigger metaverse:

Of course, this is just a survey and not an announcement of actual features. So you might have to wait a short while, or forever, to invite someone over to chill in your virtual crib.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.