Facebook seems to have a bit too much cash on their hands. Perhaps that is why the company is on a massive buying spree. After acquiring WhatsApp, their biggest acquisition to date, Facebook has now signed a deal to acquire... wait for it... Oculus VR, the company that is developing Oculus Rift, for $2 billion.
From Mark Zuckerberg's post on Facebook -
"Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we're in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.
This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset."
Gaming is only one of the fields where Oculus Rift can arrive as a true revolution. According to the founders of Oculus, the new deal with Facebook will allow them to bring better VR (Virtual Reality) to millions, at cheaper prices.
"After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home.
This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures."
Facebook's dream for Oculus is huge, and can potentially change our lives, in more than a few ways. How about sitting in your living room, plugging in a VR headset and boom, you're in your classroom alongside other students from across the globe. Imagine the amount of money saved in travel, since you don't have to, and time saved in the process. This is just a simple example of where VR can be used outside of gaming, which is at present the biggest focus.
The new direction of Oculus Rift doesn't come without repercussions. Minecraft's Marcus Notch has refused to work on a VR version of his game, saying "I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook."
Ultimately, we will have to wait at least a couple of months to see which direction the development Oculus Rift takes after being acquired by Facebook.
"I can't wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us." - Mark Zuckerberg