The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that allows users to experience their favorite media as if they were immersed in the game or film itself. When it comes to virtual reality technology, it is unparalleled and provides the kind of peripheral vision that has been previously unknown in the gaming world. Facebook feels so confident that this product is worthy of investment, it recently acquired the Oculus company for $2 billion dollars. The young CEO and entrepreneur, Brendan Iribe, is excited to bring this never-before-experienced first-person adventure to audiences around the world.
Brendan Iribe has aimed to sell his product the Oculus Rift headset to 1 billion people worldwide. While his ambitions may seem lofty, he takes inspiration from massive MMORPGS like World of Warcraft and even Facebook’s Farmville, which have in the tens of millions of players. Developers are currently working on a world network, a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, that is seamless and enticing enough to attract 1 billion fans.
The Oculus Rift’s technology already promises to change the way users experience audio-visual media. Rather than the 2-dimensional screens at which people stare in theaters or at home, the Oculus Rift will put users directly in the worlds imagined by artists and producers. If Brendan Iribe is successful in marketing his technology to 1 billion people worldwide, the Rift may not only change the way people we watch movies but also the way people live their daily lives. A fully-immersive network that connects so many people to one another from the privacy and safety of their own homes, within an anonymous online world, may have far-reaching impacts for the entertainment, media, business, and lifestyle industries.
According to its website, the Oculus Rift tracks the movements of its users’ heads to create a fluid experience of the intended virtual world. The images on screen are perceived with a depth and clarity unknown to current film technologies, because the headset creates a distinct image for each eye – the way humans experience the real world. Finally, the field of view is 100 degrees, beyond the scope of normal human vision, and mimics the uninterrupted way one views the tangible world.
On May 7th, Oculus Rift won at the GamesIndustry Innovation Awards for the best “Innovation in Technology.” The Norwegian Army also tested the headset as a means to drive and orient military tanks without sacrificing crew members. Drivers were able to park the tank with extreme accuracy from inside the vehicle, without opening the hatch. The Oculus headset provided an affordable alternative to previous cameras and other military hardware.
While Oculus Rift staff admit that 1 billion users might be beyond the scope of the headset, their current partnership with Facebook is an amazing resource for the company. The chief would like to market the Rift to those who might see a virtual network as an extended version of Facebook itself. He says an endgame advertising model would explain how the intricate details of virtual reality would allow one to mimic conversations and interactions in real life with people from all over the world – all from home.
By: James Ryder