Virtual reality is no longer the stuff of science fiction or a pipedream. This year will see the launch of a number of headsets from a variety of companies. One of the first to market is the Oculus Rift, which is fitting really as it is the name that is most associated with VR.
The Oculus Rift actually began life as an ambitious Kickstarter project. In August 2012, the Oculus Rift project launched on Kickstarter seeking $250,000, a sum that it surpassed within a day. The project garnered the attention of some illustrious names, including game programmer and aerospace engineer John Carmack who then joined the company in 2013.
But Carmack isn’t the only big name in technology that sat up and paid attention to Oculus. Realising its potential, Facebook made a move to acquire it and did so for a whopping $2 billion.
Games are certainly one area that the Oculus Rift thrives. It launched (in some parts of the world) with the support of 30 titles, an impressive figure for such a new technology. Its launch line-up included the likes of Adr1ft, Project CARS, Elite Dangerous, EVE Valkyrie, Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and The Climb – though this will benefit from the release of Oculus Touch later this year.
— Project CARS (@projectcarsgame) March 18, 2016
But Facebook’s interest and subsequent acquisition indicated that video games weren’t all that the Rift could cater for. And so it has proven to be. Already, sites such as Facebook and YouTube have implemented 360-degree videos, which allow a Rift wearer to look around and take in the surroundings of a video as well as the main focal point. It is a stunning and truly immersive way to experience a video.
Not only that, but Facebook recently announced that it has formed a “Social VR” team to build technology that enables people to have social experiences in VR. “VR is going to be the most social platform,” Zuckerberg said.
The Oculus Rift looks set to be, not only the future of entertainment, allowing us to enjoy media in a whole new and immersive way, but an outlet for social experiences and discovery too. You can find out more about virtual reality and be kept in the loop about product launches online at Harvey Norman. There’s no Irish release date just yet, but the Oculus Rift VR headset is coming to Harvey Norman soon.