Facebook's purchase of virtual reality company Oculus for $2 billion has turned tech theorists into futurists. What plans does the world's biggest social network want with an unproven helmet gizmo? What does our Facebook-led virtual reality future look like?
Oculus, which began as a Kickstarter project, has largely been concentrated on appealing to gamers looking for the next big thing in immersive entertainment. But in a post on his own Facebook page, Zuckerberg gave some broad suggestions as to his ideas of the future of Oculus.
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. ...
Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.
In Zuckerberg's view, the Oculus is more than just a gaming platform, it's a communication platform. (Just like Facebook isn't just a place for cat pictures.) As Gigaom asks, it's unclear whether Zuckerberg will use the Oculus for virtual reality or for connections in actual reality. The focus on communication, though, suggests more of the latter. But what kinds of communication does he see? Tech theorists are happily throwing out their ideas already.
If Reddit's most upvoted comments are a good gauge, the gaming community is freaking out that Facebook will ruin the Oculus Rift. Early investors have a reason to be angry, too, given the origins of Oculus as a Kickstarter project. As ValleyWag's Joel Johnson explains, there's an expectation that giving money on Kickstarter to a cool product won't just be used as seed money for a multi-billion dollar sale, with reward for the "angel" investors. Kickstarter's comments board has been less eloquent and more vehement in their dissatisfaction with the "sell out."