For those who have been living under a rock and have never heard of this product, Oculus VR is basically a virtual reality technology company founded by Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe. Their first product, still in development, is the Oculus Rift, a head-mounted display for immersive virtual reality (VR). It utilizes a set of lenses on the screen to focus and reshape an image for each eye, which creates the 3D image illusion. This image matches a wearer’s movements and makes it seem as if they have stepped into the realistic world they are seeing in front of them – with 360° views. Continue reading for more.
5. Roller Coaster
As a head-mounted display (HMD) designer at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, Palmer Luckey earned a reputation for having the largest personal collection of HMDs in the world, and is a longtime moderator in Meant to be Seen (MTBS) 3D’s discussion forums.
4. Grand Theft Auto 4
John Carmack of id Software had been doing his own research on HMDs and happened upon Palmer’s developments. After sampling an early unit, Carmack favored Luckey’s prototype and just before the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Id announced that their future updated version of Doom 3, Doom 3 BFG Edition, would be compatible with head-mounted display units.
3. The Moon
Following the demonstration of the Oculus Rift prototype at E3 in June 2012, on August 1, 2012, the company announced a Kickstarter campaign to further develop the product. Oculus announced that the “dev kit” version of the Oculus Rift would be given as a reward to backers who pledged $300 or more on Kickstarter, with an expected shipping date set of December 2012 (though they did not actually ship until March 2013).
2. Funny Prank
There was also a limited run of 100 unassembled Rift prototype kits for pledges over $275 that would ship a month earlier. Both versions were intended to include Doom 3 BFG Edition, but Rift support in the game was not ready, so to make up for it they included a choice of discount vouchers for either Steam or the Oculus store. Within four hours of the announcement, Oculus secured its intended amount of US$250,000, and in less than 36 hours, the campaign had surpassed $1 million in funding, eventually ending with $2,437,429.
Though Oculus VR had only released a development prototype of its headset, on March 25, 2014, Mark Zuckerberg announced via his Facebook profile that Facebook would be acquiring Oculus VR for US$2 billion, pending regulatory approval. The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million common shares of Facebook, valued at $1.6 billion, as well as additional $300 million assuming Facebook reaches certain milestones.