Oculus VR, the team behind the Rift virtual reality headset, is looking to follow Android’s expansion model to bring virtual reality to the masses.
Android, the mobile operating system with the largest market share, famously grew to prominence through its open nature — including the ability for hardware manufacturers to ship out a competitive smartphone without designing their own operating system.
After Facebook’s $US2 billion acquisition of Oculus earlier this year, the Oculus team can now focus on growing virtual reality into a mainstream platform, rather than simply a niche gaming device.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe weighed in on what the future holds for VR.
“If we do want to get a billion people on virtual reality, which is our goal, we’re not going to sell 1 billion pairs of glasses ourselves,” Iribe said. “We are openly talking to any kind of partner that wants to jump into VR, and there’s a lot of interest right now.”
Such partners could include popular phone manufacturers. Rumours say Samsung and Oculus may team up to bring a more mobile VR headset to market, which would be powered by Samsung phones, interestingly enough. In return, Oculus is rumoured to have access to the latest display technology to use in its own Rift headset.
Another possibility lies with Sony, which is already developing its own virtual reality headset, called Project Morpheus. Iribe told Bloomberg that a collaboration with Sony might not be off the table.
“We showed their key executives our prototypes, and we said if you want to work with us, we are happy to engage deeply and be friends in this industry,” Iribe said. “It hasn’t gone anywhere past that, but they did show up and opened up to us and in turn we opened up to them.”
The Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus are truly innovative tech, but without the games and content to support them, virtual reality will never take off with the average gamer. That’s why an open, unified virtual reality platform could be just what VR needs to truly take off.
But make no doubt about it, Oculus is still clearly focused on creating the No. 1 virtual reality device to hit the market. They’re just also simultaneously planning for VR’s continued longevity.
“We need to get it right before we engage and work with other people,” Iribe said.
Business Insider has reached out to Oculus for further comment. We’ll update you if we hear anything.