Facebook’s 3D photos (generated from portrait-mode images) have quickly proven to be my favorite feature added to that platform in years. Hover or drag over this example:
The academic research they’ve shared, however, promises to go farther, enabling VR-friendly panoramas with parallax. The promise is basically “Take 30 seconds to shoot a series of images, then allow another 30 seconds for processing.” The first portion might well be automated, enabling the user to simply pan slowly across a scene.
This teaser vid shows how scenes are preserved in 3D, enabling post-capture effects like submerging them in water:
Will we see this ship in FB, and if so when? Your guess is as good as mine, but I find the progress exciting.