We are only one month away before the new year. With the new year comes Oculus Rift. This will be the first ever virtual reality headset aimed at the average consumer. Primarily, it will be aimed at gamers. However, it also stands to be applicable in other areas such as cinema, military, and even concerts.
Oculus began on Kickstarter. There, they were able to raise about 2.5 million dollars. Not long after that they were bought by Facebook. The man behind it all is Palmer Luckey. He started by modifying existing games and experimenting with virtual reality headsets. He started piecing them together trying to create a better one. Eventually, he ran into John Carmack who is the lead programmer of famous games such as Doom and Quake. Carmack offered to buy a headset. This lead to the project, creating a virtual reality headset, becoming a full-blown reality with a demand. A few years later in 2012, Oculus VR was started.
Palmer used Kickstarter to help fund the project. Carmack’s endorsement led to other big companies endorsing him as well. A month after he launched the company, he launched his Kickstarter campaign. In three days, he was able to get over three million dollars. Eventually, Facebook bought them.
The first quarter of next year will see the Oculus Rift come out. However, while they were developing it, they needed over developers access to models so they could begin to develop games and applications to go with it. So, they released two development models. One is the Dev Kit 1 and the other is the Dev Kit 2. The first one sold out with 65,000 units at $350. The next one sold out as well.
Although Facebook bought them and as far as anyone can tell, they have stayed away and allowed them to operate independently. After the initial purchase, people thought they were selling out. However, they’ve managed to convince potential buyers that they are still separate.
If Oculus is everything we’ve hoped for, it could mean a burst of virtual reality applications. The market is already growing in this area. However, the release of Oculus will be the last test to see what direction the market will go in. There are already talks of applying this in other areas.
For example, there are already applications being built for the Rift that will allow you to view movies on it. There will be surround sound effects along with seeing it on a virtual big screen just like the theater. However, extended functionality will be added that will allow you to see the movie with others with avatars. There are other talks over the internet about it being applied to social media where you can interact with others.
In short, next quarter in 2016 will see an amazing product come into the market. The Oculus Rift will set the standard for what virtual reality is. If this product sells the way others are expecting, it will mean another momentous growth of virtual reality related applications.