Facebook announced yesterday that the social media goliath will acquire Oculus VR, a top dog from the virtual reality technology industry.
The deal went through for a total of $2 billion, a dowry comprised of $400 million cash, 23.1 million shares (current market value at $1.6 billion), and an additional $300 million cash and stock from milestone achievements.
Oculus VR created Oculus Rift, branded as next-gen virtual reality. The wearable headset was intended for gaming, but per Facebook’s press release, it looks like the Rift is going to shift in to immersive communication technology.
As Google blazes the path for wearable tech with Glass and their Android Wear endeavors, it makes sense for Facebook to invest and grow their brand in next gen technology.
“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow. Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, in Tuesday’s press release.
While the press release notes that Facebook will maintain Oculus’s gaming attributes, the products will be scaled to accommodate the growing space for technology in communications, education, and other areas.
The acquisition has already piqued the interest of developers, and Facebook plans to maintain Oculus VR’s original operations headquarters in Irvine, CA, meaning continued employment and possible job openings.
In light of the advancement of wearable technology, Facebook’s acquisition almost seems late to the game, but a smart buy. High interest in gaming and immersive technology means continued interest in the Oculus VR brand, plus options for Facebook to explore social media development outside of a smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Looks like Glass may soon have one hell of a competitor. Now we just need to wait and see how Facebook plans to work with the current hardware design.
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Image courtesy of Oculus VR’s former Kickstarter page.