© Wikimedia Commons
About a month ago, the social network giant Facebook announced news about their plans to buy a company which creates virtual reality glasses – Oculus. And a few days ago they received a positive response – Facebook got the approval of the US government.
On March 25th, Facebook stated that they’re spending $2 billion to buy a quiet new company, Oculus, that’s been running for a couple of years and is creating Oculus Rift – a virtual reality gaming device.
The amount will be divided, and Facebook will pay $400 million in cash, and the rest of it in Facebook stock. The buyer also commits itself to pay extra $300 million if Oculus meets given performance targets. This means that until the final legalization of the agreement, that’s expected in the second quarter of 2014, Oculus will continue to work independently in their headquarters in Irvine, California, to improve their product.
Even though Oculus made a name for themselves in the gaming field, Facebook is planning to use their technology for communications, media and other kinds of entertainment. Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, during a phone conference said that this technology of Oculus has the potential to become the next computing revolution, following the transition from desktop computers to mobile devices.
“Oculus can become the most social platform,” said M. Zuckerberg. “Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”
In his post on Facebook, Zuckerberg mentioned examples like watching a sports event, group studying or having an eye-to-eye consultation with your doctor, as potential uses of Oculus.
Such plans surprised some of the people, since Oculus is a quietly new company, which hasn’t even released their first product yet. Only in Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012 Oculus presented their creation – the Oculus Rift gaming device. In the same year, they’ve started a Kickstarter campaign in which their goal was to raise 250 000 but the sum eventually eclipsed the goal nearly ten times over. Since then the interest hasn’t stopped rising, and 75 000 people even bought the prototype device to test it and help improve its software. Now owners of an Oculus Rift can play PC games, walk around in the world of Game of Thrones, or even go to a supermarket. But M. Zuckerberg himself hasn’t yet announced the expected date of the product’s official release.
According to Facebook’s chief financial officer David Ebersman, the amount to buy Oculus was calculated based on gaming opportunities and Oculus will continue their work in this sphere. It’s no surprise that this virtual reality craze didn’t long to spread and Microsoft has already expressed their interest in this technology, while Sony even presented their own virtual reality headset.
Such tendencies show us that really soon “wearable” technologies will most likely take over the market. Google is still perfecting their Glass innovation, besides they announced an upcoming tailored watch collection, run by Android operational system. Samsung, on the other hand, has already presented a line like that. With this latest purchase, Facebook has shown their belief in a future, where people want to walk around dressed in the trendiest technologies.