Facebook set to acquire a Virtual Reality Company at $2 billion
A month after Facebook acquired Whats App at a price of $ 19.9 billion, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has announced that they have also agreed to acquire Oculus VR , at a price of $2 billion.
Oculus VR is the maker of a virtual reality headset. It’s a bet that technology commonly associated with science fiction can help eventually turn social networking into an immersive, 3-D experience and with virtual reality technologies give people the illusion that they are physically present in a digital world.
In his statement on his Facebook timeline,Zuckerberg said, “I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology.”
He also went on to say that, “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 and this is where Oculus comes in.”
With the deal, Facebook will be the latest Silicon Valley company to invest in wearable hardware that reimagines how people will one day interact with information and other forms of content. Google however, has taken a different approach with Glass, its high-tech eyewear that overlays maps, messages and other data on a transparent lens in front of people’s eyes, through which they can still view their surroundings.
Zuckerberg also said that this was just the start. “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.”
On a blog on the Oculus VR site, it was stated that, “At first glance, it might not seem obvious why Oculus is partnering with Facebook, a company focused on connecting people, investing in internet access for the world and pushing an open computing platform. But when you consider it more carefully, we’re culturally aligned with a focus on innovating and hiring the best and brightest; we believe communication drives new platforms; we want to contribute to a more open, connected world; and we both see virtual reality as the next step.”
Oculus Rift, the headset Oculus VR is developing, is a boxy set of goggles that envelops the eyes of its wearers, completely surrounding their field of view with high-resolution screens that create 3-D images. Motion sensors in the headset track the movement of a person’s head, shifting their view on the screen and creating the feeling that the wearer has an active presence in a virtual world.
Facebook will be paying $400 million in cash and about $1.6 billion in stock for Oculus, with up to $300 million more depending on Oculus’s performance.