Image: Facebook

Facebook has long talked about the social possibilities of virtual reality, even as the core market remains gamers looking to enjoy their own solitary fantasy world.

State of play: On Wednesday, the company offered more details on its long-term plan to transform VR into a social experience.

  • At Oculus Connect, Facebook unveiled Horizon, a more immersive multiplayer VR social experience that will launch in a closed beta early next year.
  • In an interview with CNET, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook wants "to help shape the next computing platform to be more about interacting with people and not just apps and tasks."

Why it matters: Facebook wants to make its $2 billion Oculus bet pay off; even more than that it wants to establish itself as a central player in what many see as computing's next frontier, rather than have to play catch-up as it did with mobile.

Go deeper: Paul Allen's legacy includes a virtual reality "Holodome"

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Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 12,009,301 — Total deaths: 548,799 — Total recoveries — 6,561,969Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 3,053,328 — Total deaths: 132,256 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 37,532,612Map.
  3. Public health: Houston mayor cancels Republican convention over coronavirus concerns Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  4. Travel: United warns employees it may furlough 45% of U.S. workforce How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  5. Education: New York City schools will not fully reopen in fallHarvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.

Transcripts show George Floyd told police "I can't breathe" over 20 times

Photo: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Newly released transcripts of bodycam footage from the Minneapolis Police Department show that George Floyd told officers he could not breathe more than 20 times in the moments leading up to his death.

Why it matters: Floyd's killing sparked a national wave of Black Lives Matter protests and an ongoing reckoning over systemic racism in the United States. The transcripts "offer one the most thorough and dramatic accounts" before Floyd's death, The New York Times writes.

9 hours ago - Health

Fighting the coronavirus infodemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An "infodemic" of misinformation and disinformation has helped cripple the response to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: High-powered social media accelerates the spread of lies and political polarization that motivates people to believe them. Unless the public health sphere can effectively counter misinformation, not even an effective vaccine may be enough to end the pandemic.