Horizon Home is Facebook's gamble to get us spending more time in VR

Facebook Connect 2021 Horizon Home avatars
(Image credit: Facebook)

Announced during the Facebook Connect 2021 event, Horizon Home, Horizon Worlds, create games, throw parties, chat with friends' avatars. Built on last year's beta.

Announced during the Facebook Connect 2021 event, Oculus Home is being rebranded and improved as Horizon Home, where users can interact with each other with created avatars. The concept has been built on since a beta that was held last year.

Horizon Worlds is also coming, which will let friends create their own worlds and games, even "throw parties" according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Finally, Horizon Workrooms is being developed as a collaboration space, which could be useful for workplaces and meetings with colleagues.

Workrooms are fully customizable, and appear to be compatible with Zoom. Additionally, Horizon Home is planning on adding personal office spaces, which will also be customizable.

Facebook Connect

(Image credit: Oculus)

Analysis: The more productive side of Facebook's "metaverse?"

With Facebook rebranding to Meta, the tech giant is bringing in a wave of new and refreshed technology, and the Horizon platform seems to be one of the marquee pieces of software bringing Meta into people's homes and workspaces.

And with a new Oculus VR headset on the way (though details are scarce at present), the company is already prepping itself for the next few years of virtual reality and mixed reality technologies.

While much of what was discussed during Facebook Connect 2021 sounded like lofty hypotheticals, at least Horizon Home details were somewhat grounded in reality. Apps like Rec Room and VRChat already allow users to create custom avatars and hang out in virtual rooms. The Horizon platform could expand this even further.

It sounds like an all-in-one experience. Not only can you create your own avatar with a unique appearance and clothing, Horizon Worlds has us particularly interested. There's always been something deeply satisfying and therapeutic about creating worlds in games like Minecraft, but also in real life with something as simple as Lego blocks.

Finally, it sounds like Facebook could be embracing the work from home practice that became something of a standard during the Covid-19 pandemic. Creating unique office spaces and meeting rooms is a novel idea, and could genuinely allow companies to continue operating remotely, saving workers from commuting and maybe even adding a little flair to your workspace.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.