There’s no shortage of excitement among gamers when it comes to Oculus, a Kickstarted VR headset maker that is in the process of being acquired by Facebook. Today, the company announced Oculus Connect, the company’s first developer conference, which is sure to be the site of forthcoming announcements and innovations in the world of virtual reality.
The conference is scheduled for September 19 and 20, and registration kicks off on July 10. There, “attendees will be the first to learn about upcoming Oculus technology, with sessions and workshops led by Oculus engineers and industry pioneers,” says the company. “Developers at the event will also have opportunities to receive design and engineering feedback directly from the Oculus team in hands-on labs.”
On the face of things, this announcement sounds extremely premature. After all, Oculus still hasn’t actually released a single product. Companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft hold developers conferences every year because of how widely used their products and services are, and how ubiquitous they’ve become. Oculus, on the other hand, is a start-up that is in the process of being bought by Facebook that still has yet to justify its $2 billion acquisition price.
That said, Oculus is also a new technology platform in and of itself with the potential to change the way we interact with computers. There’s already work being done for non-gaming applications, like the Norwegian army’s experiments with using the Rift as an accessory for tank drivers. It’s smart for Oculus to get in front of the software aspect by holding this conference and getting people interested in finding out new ways to make applications for the Rift – and whatever else Oculus has up its sleeve. It wouldn’t be to Oculus or Facebook’s benefit for there to be a dearth of software available for the Rift when it finally launches, whenever that is. With the advent of Oculus Connect, the company can guide the development of software and applications directly, and keep the buzz for the Rift going despite the lack of a tangible product.