Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, is being bought by Facebook in exchange for $2 billion USD worth of Facebook cash and stock. This is according to an announcement made by Mark Zuckerberg via a post on (you guessed it) Facebook.
The platform that introduced the concept of “poking” people virtually has had a number of big acquisitions over the years. Among these is Instagram, a widely-popular photo sharing platform that enables anyone with a smartphone to take photos that look like they came out of a camera from the 1930s. Facebook acquired the already-popular platform for a mere $1 billion USD.
After speaking to the obvious implications of gaming for the virtual reality technology, Zuckerberg stated, “After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.”
It’s good to see that this technology will do more than allow people to harvest their FarmVille crops in an immersive 3D environment or spend countless hours crushing candy from all sides.
The Oculus Rift, Oculus VR’s biggest project to date, was kicked off by a massive Kickstarter campaign that raised over $2.4 million USD.
Even though the Oculus Rift itself is still in development, Facebook felt that the company was worth a lot more than many analysts would expect. It’s still unclear exactly what plans Facebook has for the newly-acquired company, but with such a large investment, it is apparent that the social media giant has its sights set on a user experience that extends beyond a 2D browser.
Zuckerberg closed his announcement with, “Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together. I can’t wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us.”