Visit our other websites:    On CE    eSP    Mobile Channels    ECI news    rAVe Europe    Digital Signage News EMEA    iChannels

Facebook Buys Oculus

E-mail Print PDF

Facebook makes a surprise acquisition with Oculus, coughing up $2 billion in cash and stock for the virtual reality headset maker in order to "[get] ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” as CEO Mark Zuckerberg puts it.

Oculus Rift“Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate" Zuckerberg continues. He also tells of ambitious non-gaming plans for the device. "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."

The acquisition might appear leftfield for Facebook, but it makes at least some sense when considering the company's plans to expand the eponymous social network into mobile and wearable platforms. Either way it will shift the focus of the Oculus brand away from pure games development to “communications, media and entertainment, education, and other areas.”

As way of quick refresher, Oculus first showed up on 2012 with a successful Kickstarter campaign selling early Rift dev kits. Since then it has seen a couple of updates and attracted the attention of the likes of Doom creator turned Oculus CTO John Carmack and Valve president Gabe Newell, even if the device in prototype form.

Will the social network evolve into a full-on VR experience (think the internet as imagined by William Gibson) by the time the Oculus becomes a commercial product, or will potential audiences simply fail to care? Oculus promises "ubiquitous, affordable, and transformative" virtual reality will happen in 10 years' time so we'll only get to know by then, if at all.

Go Oculus Joins Facebook

Go Mark Zuckerberg on Oculus Acquisition (Facebook)