A few weeks ago, Facebook made headlines when it purchased WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars. This time, for significantly less money, Facebook has acquired the development company, Oculus VR. The company was purchased by King Zuckerberg’s empire for one big reason: a virtual reality head-mounted display that is set to be released within the next year or so.
While forums and blogs seem to be dominated by angry gamers who feel that Oculus VR sold out to the bad guys,I’d like to discuss the potential future of how Facebook will use this technology.
Instead of solely serving as potential peripheral for game consoles, television, and PCs, it appears as though Zuckerberg intends to implement virtual worlds within which people can make purchases and “be served advertisements.”
Another factor that comes into play is that logging into Facebook may become a requirement for people to access the Oculus Rift’s online activities. This not only has the potential to force people into using Facebook (and giving the company their information) , but if the device begins to be used for live performances and movies, then Facebook could expand its already huge empire further into both the film and music industries.
While most people associate virtual reality with video games, the potential that virtual reality has in the industries besides gaming must not be overlooked. Any kind of virtual reality will influence all types of media and viewing channels.
Zuckerberg said that Facebook views the technology as more than a peripheral for video games. He strongly believes that “immersive virtual and augmented reality will become a part of people’s everyday life.” He also asserted that as more platforms develop, “whoever builds and defines these will shape the future and reap the benefits.”
Honestly, that sounds a bit creepy to me, but luckily there are a few other promising kick starters that King Zuckerberg and his Empire do not own.