by Sheren Javdan
April 9, 2014
Facebook Inc., a Delaware Corporation, announced Tuesday that it has purchased Oculus VR Inc, makers of virtual reality headsets, for $2 billion. The details include $400 million cash and 1.6 billion shares of common stock in Facebook.
Oculus, an Irvine California based corporation, has made a virtual reality headset that has not yet been released to consumers. The headset creates a detailed world that responds to users’ head and body movement.
Virtual reality enthusiast, Palmer Luckey, founded Oculus, one of the most successful Kickstarter projects. The company’s initial financial investments were funded by Kickstarter, a program that seeks small investments from hundreds of thousands of people.
This is not the first time the mega social networking company has made a big purchase this year. Last month, Facebook announced its purchase of WhatsApp, a text messaging service, for $19 billion. In 2012, Facebook also purchased Instagram, a photo-sharing service, for $1 billion.
What does a business focusing on social networking need an antisocial gaming device for you ask? Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated the Oculus has the “potential to be the next great computing evolution.” Facebook has joined the mobile smartphone evolution. Today many users are abandoning their restrictive desktop and laptop devices for more mobile technology; their smartphones.
Facebook’s objective is to connect users through all devices and modes of communication. Through its purchase of Oculus, Facebook hopes to evolve the social network into an interactive 3-D experience. Oculus will give users the optical illusion that they are physically present in their interactive world.
Wearable devices are the next big thing of this generation. Just two weeks ago, Google Inc. announced it has purchased Emotient a Google Glass application that can recognize one’s emotions such as frustration, anger, and joy. Furthermore, last week Google announced Android Wear, computerized wristwatches tailored for smartphones.
Facebook must keep up with the ever-evolving technology. To avoid losing its title as leader in social networking, Facebook continues to invest billions of dollars in other’s inventions and devices. One must stop to wonder: How much money could Facebook actually save by hiring individuals to invent and stay on top of the game, rather than just buy them out?