Facebook Oculus: Making Reality More Virtual

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Virtual reality (VR) has not made a significant come back until Facebook Oculus creator Palmer Luckey, and Id Software CEO John Carmack designed the first prototype codenamed “Rift” back in 2012. Since then two developer’s kits have released, the latter of the two features a resolution of 960×1080 per eye, 75Hz refresh rate, and 2ms persistence. Anyone can purchase one of these virtual reality kits; however they will still have to pay full price when consumer models arrive.

Many fans of the kit have already posted some hysterical and down-right terrifying Youtube reaction-videos using the Second Developmental Kit. Games, such as Alone, give players the chance to lurk through terrifying levels made to scare the dentures right out of them, and also include roller-coaster rides that can be experienced in the comfort of the living room!

Oculus has recently teamed up with The Carbon Design Group, which created the technology behind the Xbox 360 controller, the Xbox 360 Kinect and also contributed to a number of technological medical breakthroughs. This is not the beginning of their ventures together, as Oculus VR’s website announcement of The Carbon Design Group’s partnership held news that they have been collaborating on multiple unannounced projects “for more than a year.” The addition of this innovative team could potentially increase the reliability of the product, and hopefully will allow peripherals for the Oculus; however, that is just speculation at this point.

Facebook even got their hands dirty with the virtual reality headset and made a deal with Luckey for Oculus VR in March, for $2 billion! Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said after the purchase of Oculus VR, that he wanted a helping hand in starting a new age of computing, seeing how the rising interest of VR has trended. He could have made the right choice. Zuckerberg even stated in an interview that the price point of the Oculus Rift will be “At the lowest cost possible.” This is always a great thing to hear in today’s economy.

Many fans around the world were angered by the move, saying Luckey was “Selling Out”. However since the purchase by Facebook, Oculus has started the search for hardware developers with their newly acquired funds to share knowledge with, to work together in order to further the VR experience for everyone, hopefully on all platforms.

When interviewed by business news-site Bloomberg, Brendan Iribe the CEO of Oculus said, “Our goal is to get one-billion people on Virtual Reality, and we can’t do that alone.” he continued stating: “We’re openly talking to potential partners who are interested in VR. There’s a lot of interest in it right now”

Iribe sat down with Sony’s key executives, discussing and showing their prototypes, even though Sony is already in the process of designing Morpheus, their rendition of the Oculus. “If you want to work with us, we’d be happy to engage deeply and be friends in this Industry.” He quickly confirmed that: “It hasn’t gone anywhere past that, but they did open up to us; and in turn we opened up to them.” Nobody knows whether the two giants will become united and form the strong backbone needed for VR gaming. One would have to agree however that Facebook making new boundaries for Oculus Rift, and the world of Virtual Reality.

By James Kurtzweil

Sources:
Cnet
Oculus VR
Bloomberg.com

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