A Glimpse of Facebook's Plans for Oculus

Mark Zuckerberg gives some insight to Facebook's acquisition of Oculus Rift during Q3 Earnings Call.

In Facebook's 3rd quarter earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered some insight to the company's plans with its acquisition of Oculus Rift, and how it sees VR fitting in with its overall strategy.

Very Long Term Strategy

While Zuck acknowledges that the latest prototype of the Rift is getting closer to being a consumer product, he also stressed that Facebook's investment into VR is still a long-term play for the company.

He believes that both virtual reality and augmented reality will both be major computing platforms in the future.

"As I've said before, with Oculus, we're making a long-term bet on the future of computing... Every 10 to 15 years a new major computing platform arrives... Virtual reality and augmented reality are an important part of this platform."

In order to be a meaningful computing platform, Zuckerberg believes that VR needs to scale out to 50-100 million units in the next few years, and then a few more iterations of the device before it truly becomes a successful business. 

"And when you get to that scale, that's when it starts to be interesting as a business, in terms of developing out of the ecosystem. So when I'm talking about it as a 10-year thing, I'm talking about building the first set of devices, and then building the audience and the ecosystem around that, until it eventually becomes a business."

While no details during the call really describes how Facebook will actually implement VR in its business, it is clear that Zuckerberg believes in the computing platform in general that he is envisioning a 10-year road ahead. 

Combined with the upcoming Gear VR product -- a mobile version of the Rift, being produced for use with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, it will be interesting to see if VR actually takes off this time around. 

Published Oct. 29th 2014
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  • mchiu
    I totally agree... VR still has a long way to go. FB's taking a stab at it hopefully will bring us a step closer to a rich and immersive experience.

    Much like the PC market in the early-to-mid-80s, VR still has a long way to go, but as we continue to push forward the tech, the content, and everything else, I think that we will get closer to what we really imagine VR to be.

    The demos I have used on the Rift are definitely very clunky and hacky, but without this first stab, we can't get anywhere, so I do applaud FB for taking that first step.

    On the AR side, I'm also interested to see what Google's new acquisition in Magic Leap will bring about. Maybe it's holograms?
  • Tim_8087
    While all this sounds amazing I believe that this is going to be another fad failure as the goal Zuckerberg has will not be attainable unless the game developer and publisher community pull their heads out of the dark recesses and realize they need to start creating quality material for the games that will be using this device.

    Star Citizen and Citadel of Sorcery are good starts in this direction, however the technology isnt there. Just having your eyes glued to a dual monitor setup ... which is traditionally warned to be bad for your eyes... well lets skip the common sense portion after all...

    Anyway, the tech isnt anywhere near where it has to be to become Virtual reality. Dont know what I mean there are two very good animes from Japan that show what VR is and how it could be used properly and abused criminally. Sword Art Online is the one I am directly mentioning for the good and bad. For Virtual reality it should absorb your senses. The occulus rift is just a new age clunky version of the good old stereo-tropic glasses.

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