Oculus founders: Facebook lets us bring the best VR experience to a billion people
Oculus VR co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe had a vision for their company: to bring virtual reality to as many people as possible, in the best way possible, at the lowest possible price. And, according to the duo, selling the company to Facebook is the best way to reach those goals. “This is the best thing for us to do,” Luckey told us in a post-announcement interview. “It leaves us in the same position we’ve always been in, doing the same things we wanted to do.”
The surprise deal, according to Iribe, came together after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asked for an Oculus Rift demo. “The initial expectation wasn’t that he was coming down to acquire us,” Iribe said. “He just wanted to see what we were up to.” It quickly became clear, he said, that the two companies had a lot in common, and that being acquired by Facebook wouldn’t require Oculus to sacrifice any of its independence. “We looked at other companies and thought, if we’re partnering with them, they’re going to turn us into their own brand and product and they’ll change our emails and we’ll be wearing different hoodies. We’re proud of who we are.”
Iribe confirmed that the entire Oculus team will be making the move, and said that being part of Facebook will allow them to “accelerate hiring and build out a team with a focus of getting the best and brightest in the industry.”
“[Another company might] change our emails and we’ll be wearing different hoodies. We’re proud of who we are.”
In Zuckerberg’s announcement earlier today, he said that the company wasn’t concerned with making an immediate profit selling the Oculus Rift hardware, and Iribe confirmed that. “We don’t know what we’ll price this at,” he said. The goal is to “get this out at the most affordable price possible.” Zuckerberg, according to Iribe, offered Oculus the chance to “reduce or eliminate the hardware margin and just get this out there.” The Facebook CEO told Iribe he wants to help “connect a billion people with VR.”
For Luckey, who began work on the first Rift prototype while he was still in college, the fact that Facebook isn’t a gaming company is actually a good thing. “Almost anyone in a gaming place would want us to do it based on their vision,” he said. “We already had a vision for the company. Facebook is going to let us do it, but with their resources behind it.”
“We have zero interest in doing what someone else thinks is the right thing,” he added.
How PS4 will power Project Morpheus
Sony grabbed a lot of people’s attention when the company announced plans at last week’s Game Developers Conference to enter the virtual reality space with Project Morpheus. The peripheral is currently in its prototype stage, but creator Richard Marks took some time to discuss how the product will ultimately work with PS4 to deliver an optimal virtual reality experience.
“PlayStation 4 is one of the reasons that we can actually do this now, because the graphics horsepower it takes to drive a virtual reality kind of experience is pretty significant,” creator Richard Marks told GamerHub TV. “It would have been hard to do earlier and, also, we needed the tracking technology and display technology to be at a certain point. So PlayStation 4 is the graphics driver.”
Marks goes on to describe Morpheus as it’s currently constituted, which includes gyroscopes and accelerometers within the unit. It also includes a camera to help track the LEDs on the front of the unit to help monitor movement. Combining the camera’s trackers with Morpheus’ internal sensors allow for the PS4 to create a tracking experience.
For more on Project Morpheus, including how PlayStation Move controllers work with the headset, check out the full video below.
New bill would outlaw online gambling, heads to Congress this week
The US government may have opposed extensive net neutrality laws and regulation of ISPs in the past, but when it comes to online gambling, several politicians are calling for the ban hammer. If Senator Lindsey Graham and Rep. Jason Chaffetz have their way, it will soon be illegal to play slots on your smartphone. Today, the two introduced legislation to outlaw internet betting — excluding fantasy sports and horse racing — asserting that the activity is a potential national security threat, among other things. Gambling sites, co-sponsor Senator Dianne Feinstein claims, often don’t screen for underage players. Supports of the legislation also cite the lack of oversight for criminal acts such as identity theft and money-laundering, and they naturally invoke gambling addiction as well. Notably, Las Vegas Sands titan Sheldon Adelson is supporting the bill.
Online gambling is currently legal, in one form or another, in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s home state of California is currently considering legalizing it as well. Online betting only became legal in certain states in 2011, after the Justice Department’s reversal of interpretation of the Wire Act. Chaffetz and Graham’s bill would reinstate the original interpretation of the act, effectively banning internet gambling throughout the country. The bill will be introduced in Congress this week. Meanwhile, you can enjoy this PSA from the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
Geek This Week:
Aaron: Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel using a looper app on iPad.
Record Store Day.
Gozer: Pole Position. South Park & FF X & X-2
Feedback and items of Note:
I did my write-up as to the conclusion of my WiFi connected doorbell saga:
I find IOT (internet of things) devices such as these two, have a lot of promise, but the execution leaves you wanting for someone’s execution — literally — you want to find the developer who wrote this and strangle them. I love home automation, and programming, and do not claim to write bug free code, but sometimes when something just plum doesn’t work — there is really no excuse for it. Some people are willing to grow with the growing pains of a product. I live with a pebble, and I see how that can be, but the version 1.0 of anything has to deliver on some basic functionality. It has to work. It should not require calls to support, emails which go un-answered for days, and replacements of poorly made hardware. It is frustrating, and if a bleeding edge geek like me find it so, the world of IOT will drown before it can learn to swim.
Hey guys. My grandparents finally took the plunge and they got an iMac! From the two days they have had it, they love it. Way better than ther HP they had previous. As always love the show
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