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Facebook acquiring Oculus VR could do wonders for VR

By: Anthony Garreffa | Editorials in Mobile Devices | Posted: Apr 12, 2014 1:38 pm

Oculus VR Can Now Begin Ordering Rift-Specific Displays and Parts


Facebook would have to have some large sums of money at its disposal, and some big backers that could finance any moves it wants to do in the technology world. With nearly a billion users, it has virtually unlimited powers in the tech world.


The one thing that stops Oculus VR from completely dominating the VR world is money. Even if Oculus VR had the hands-down best VR headset on the market, and could release it tomorrow, it doesn't have the funds to get millions of them made and put onto shelves across the world.


That's one problem Facebook can solve.


The other problem Oculus VR would have had is getting its hands-on the right technology to bake into the Rift. Oculus VR has been pushing for a higher resolution display, touting that even a 4K display would still be a limiting factor before VR could be truly world-changing. So we're now talking about 8K displays, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.


Let's say that Oculus VR could get its Rift headset onto the market. There would only be a few hundred thousand made, as it couldn't afford to just order the countless displays from manufacturers.


This is another problem Facebook can solve.




Now that it has Facebook behind it, Oculus VR can spend hundreds of millions of dollars securing high-res displays from display manufacturers, something it could not have done pre-acquisition. Post-acquisition, Oculus VR can actually ask a display manufacturer to make an Oculus Rift-specific display, based on its own design and specifications.


This is what Facebook's influence and money can offer. Something that seemed to not really click with most people, including media and tech sites, is that even if Oculus VR had the perfect VR headset, it could not have made the impact it wanted to, with the limited venture capital funding it had.


Even if it did, we would've seen Rift 1.0 quickly followed by Rift 2.0 and so on, because it would have placed say 500,000 orders for displays, pumping out the same number of Rift headsets. Then as it vacuumed up all that money from consumers, it would have to instantly dump it into display manufacturers' hands for Rift 2.0, and so on.


Facebook has enough money that Oculus VR can now go to manufacturers and ask them for very specific orders in very large quantities. Before the acquisition, what would Oculus VR had done? Now, it doesn't need to worry about that.



Facebook's Future With VR Could Be Very, Very Important for the World


Just think about where VR could help people... really think about it. Education, the elderly, science, technology, gaming, visualization, travel... it really has no limit. The world of VR really opens up with the money that Facebook has behind it, propelling Oculus VR into the VR stratosphere.


I see Facebook pushing virtual reality, and more specifically Oculus Rift, into countless markets. Not straight away, but over the years, Facebook is going to push VR.


Facebook has countless games with 100 million+ gamers on them; CityVille and FarmVille are addictive games for all ages, as an example. Moving into the VR world is a big thing for gaming, and because gaming is very social, those world's will collide.


Facebook would have connections in all industries and walks of life, so they could build true virtual world's for use with the Oculus Rift. Imagine giving them out as educational tools to schools across the world. Kids could use virtual reality to get a better idea of something they're being taught about.




Imagine being able to explain (as a teacher) to your students about dinosaurs. Sure, you can tell them how big they were and how ferocious they looked, but imagine being able to give kids the chance to slide a VR headset on and stand directly next to a dinosaur, tilting their heads up, looking up to a gigantic, feels-like-it's-there dinosaur.


Or the government buying up Rift headsets en masse, offering them to retirement homes for the elderly who aren't too mobile. Someone who may have wished of travelling to Paris or New York their entire lives, but will never be able to do so. A VR headset can transport them to any world they want.


The possibilities are truly endless for virtual reality, and with Facebook behind Oculus VR, there's a whole new world to be explored, together.



Final Words


I was really quite hurt when I first heard the news of the acquisition, but now that it has sunk in, I'm actually quite at peace with the news. I think that Facebook could do truly great things with Oculus VR, and because Oculus VR stays independent, the team can continue chugging along doing what it does best: building VR headsets.


The more time I've spent thinking about it, I can't help but be excited about the Rift when it lands. Not just that, but now Oculus VR has the money to acquire other VR-related firms, and to work closer with some of the world's biggest game publishers and developers.


Something else Facebook has just accomplished is talent acquisition--Facebook now owns Oculus VR, where talent from Valve is now placed in, and the gaming God himself, John Carmack. Facebook now has some of the biggest names in the industry, some true weight to play with.


I could write an entire op-ed on the talent acquisition itself, but I thought I'd leave it to last to make it stick in your head more. $2 billion is not that bad of a price to pay considering that most people who have heard about VR would know Oculus VR.


And that $2 billion also includes getting John Carmack and various other important talent under your social network wings... and $2 billion, what is that to Zuckerberg, anyway, right? The world of VR is only just beginning... are you ready to hop onto the virtual train and take the journey with the rest of us?

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