Zuckerberg Uses VR To Tour Flooded Puerto Rico Areas

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg hops on a virtual reality adventure

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg hops on a virtual reality adventure

Merging livestreaming and virtual reality together, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and its head of social virtual reality, Rachel Franklin teleported to the flood-hit Puerto Rico. The fourth annual Oculus Connect conference will begin on October 11, 2017.

Zuckerberg said he plans to "announce some stuff I am not going to announce now" at the upcoming VR conference.

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He was watching a grainy video while strapped to VR headset of people struggling to rebuilding an utterly demolished United States territory.

Zuckerberg showed a cartoon avatar of himself imposed on a 360-degree video captured by NPR.

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"One of the things that's really magical about virtual reality is you can really get the feeling you're really in a place", said Zuckerberg - before high-fiving Franklin within the virtual space against a video backdrop showing flooded scenes of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. People get huge on other platforms like YouTube or Twitch, and perhaps later use Facebook as a promotional tool, but rarely does someone become famous purely through posting primarily to Facebook. Importantly, Zuck also highlighted that Facebook donated $1.5 million to relief efforts and sent a number of employees down to the island to help ensure that networks were up so that relief efforts could be coordinated more easily. Through AI, they intend to build population maps, which would help organisations to understand where help is needed the most. "You know, it feels like we're really here in Puerto Rico, where it's obviously a tough place to get into now, and a lot of people are really suffering with the aftermath of the hurricanes".

But the pair weren't there and couldn't feel what it means to be there. The storm claimed 34 lives on the island. Nor can the video show what it's like to live in an unincorporated territory that confers USA citizenship on its residents but does so without also conferring the right to vote in in federal elections. The overwhelming majority of people in Puerto Rico, if they even had a VR headset, would not have been able to watch Zuckerberg's virtual tour, given that next to no one has access to the internet right now.

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Trump's decision would have little impact in and of itself, but the Republican controlled Congress could decide, within 60 days, to impose sanctions, or simply not respond.

The rules of virtual reality are still being established, but here's an easy one: Don't use human disasters as a way to show off features of your VR product.

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