Facebook-owned Oculus has acquired Irish display technology startup InfiniLED. The acquisition was first reported by local news outlets and has since been confirmed by Oculus. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
InfiniLED has been working on low-power LED screens for smart phones and other mobile devices. There’s no official word on what Oculus is going got do with the company’s talent and technology, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted at one possible application during his appearance at the Oculus Connect developer conference last week when he revealed that Oculus is working on a new virtual reality (VR) device.
This new device will sit squarely between the existing Oculus Rift headset and Samsung’s Gear VR, which is powered by Oculus software. While the former is depended on a high-end PC to run VR apps, the latter is using a mobile phone for that purpose. Oculus is now working on a standalone headset that would need neither phone nor PC to work, and also offer so-called inside-out positional tracking to translate body movements into actions in the virtual world.
This new standalone headset will come without any wires, which is a big step up from the current Rift experience — except for the battery that will inevitably be drained by users playing games and watching VR movies. Anything that can get the power consumption of such a device down could be key to turning it into a successful consumer product, and low-power displays could be an important part of these efforts.