Photo courtesy of Tested.
Facebook announced Tuesday afternoon that it will acquire Oculus, a manufacturer of the anticipated virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. This marks Facebook’s second major purchase of the year, following its blockbuster $19 billion deal for social messaging app WhatsApp.
“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play, and communicate.”
Oculus makes the Rift gaming headset, a 3D headpiece you strap over your eyes and connect to a computer to immerse yourself in a game. Though it is available only to developers, the Rift has won rave reviews from critics and early adopters. A consumer version is expected later this year.
For more on why tech folks are so excited about virtual reality gaming, and why Facebook may be so keen to own Oculus, see my colleague Jason Gilbert’s summary here.
What does everybody’s favorite Internet overlord plan to do with its new toys? According to a newswire report, Facebook will expand usage of the virtual reality headsets past gaming, into realms of communication, entertainment, and education.
Zuckerberg hinted that the headsets may also be another way to expand Facebook’s reach via mobile devices.
Does this mean we’ll soon get to live out our lifelong dream of experiencing family vacations via virtual reality without actually having to attend? Fingers crossed.