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VR All Business in Barcelona as Zuckerberg Touts Virtual Meetups

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A delegate tries on a Samsung Gear VR headset at Mobile World Congress.

A delegate tries on a Samsung Gear VR headset at Mobile World Congress.

Photographer: Pau Barrena/Bloomberg

Much of the buzz in virtual reality has been about gaming and entertainment, but this week at Europe’s biggest tech conference Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg and Vodafone Group Plc chief Vittorio Colao are promoting less obvious applications for immersive gear -- education, security and tourism.

Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance at Samsung Electronics Co.’s unveiling of a new 360-degree VR camera in Barcelona to talk about how it could create new ways of communicating. Facebook said a day before on a blog it has set up a “social virtual reality team” to explore the future of today’s video-conferencing and chatting. Someone at a desk in say Kalamazoo, Michigan, can meet with colleagues from Finland at an entirely different location, perhaps on top of Rio’s Sugarloaf Mountain.