Facebook have announced today that they are buying Oculus VR, makers of the Oculus Rift, for the huge sum of $2 Billion.
Here’s the word from Mark Zuckerburg:
Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.
This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.
Zuckerburg has expressed that with this venture he wants to bring new ways to communicate to the world, which means there is much more in store for the virtual headsets than just gaming. As a few examples, Zuckerberg said ‘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.‘ He stated he believes that this augmented reality will one day be part of our everyday lives, and he wants to lead the journey.
Whether being able to see the world through ‘goggles’ is a particularly good thing, I would hesitate to agree. If everything in life can be done from home, why would anyone ever leave it? Zuckerberg’s ambition is admirable, but at the same time, does feel a little out of touch. Then again, maybe that’s where virtual reality is really taking us – out of touch with, well, reality.