An Oculus Rift headset on every face.
Now that Facebook bought Oculus VR for $US2 billion, the company can sell the headsets at cost, CEO Brendan Iribe tells Time.
You can preorder the developer kit today for $US350. But that price will drop in the future.
“It changes our priorities from making money to making virtual reality happen,” he says.
And there’s still a lot of work to be done. If the company is going to expand beyond gaming, as Mark Zuckerberg wants it to, the technology is going to have to get more precise.
Right now, when you’re wearing the headset and you look down, there’s no body. And if it’s going to become a communication tool, it will have to track your hands, your face and even your facial expressions.
The hardware itself will also need to be formed into a thing that people will actually want to wear. It’s a long road.
But it looks like the Rift is going to remain a high-end gaming device, at least at first. Iribe says:
We’re working a lot with people who want to do things like immersive movies or music videos or meditation or relaxation applications. It’s kind of like the beginning of film. It’s going to take this whole new set of mechanics and engineering to master it. We have no idea what really works in VR. People ask us, What’s the holy-grail app going to be? I have no idea! Don’t know.
Now that the company’s money troubles are over, they can start looking into all the possibilities.
Read the rest of Time’s inside look at Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR here.