"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 ... Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures." writes Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook (FB) post, explaining why his company is spending up to $2.3B to buy a VR headset maker.
Nonetheless, Zuck suggests Oculus will initially focus on its gaming opportunity. Last week, Oculus began taking pre-orders for its second-gen developer kit - it includes an updated Rift VR headset sporting a higher-res display and a camera that allows users to reposition their heads.
Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe promises the Rift will get much more comfortable and portable over time. "A decade or two from now, it will be nothing but sunglasses." If/when that happens, Rift might be squaring off against Google Glass.
A weekend NYT column discussing Oculus and Sony's headsets: "After trying an array of prototypes and development kits ... I can assure you that virtual reality works. Technology is no longer the limitation. The lingering question is what game designers, artists and filmmakers should do with it."
The fact Facebook is mostly paying for both Oculus and WhatsApp with shares that have soared over the last 8 months, even though the company has $11B+ in cash/investments and could obtain cheap debt, hasn't gone unnoticed.
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