Virtual reality isn’t just an entertaining idea – it could be the future of entertainment and social networking.
That’s exactly what Facebook is hoping for with their investment in Oculus VR. The company, which makes a virtual reality headset, was purchased for $2 billion by the social networking company but has yet to release their plans for the technology.
Analysts expect that the virtual reality headset technology could turn into a 3-D social networking platform that allows people to hang out together in virtual space. By giving people the opportunity to be physically present in a digital world, it could pave the way for virtual reality being a regular part of everyday life. Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive and co-founder of Facebook, stated that the deal with Oculus VR was based on his belief in the virtual reality platform. He feels that it’s the next big computing platform that consumers will be seeking out now that the mobile market has been embraced widespread.
Surprise! However, the purchase came as a surprise to many. Oculus VR was a very small start up that had not yet shipped a product out to the general public. Many see virtual reality as a niche technology that has no place outside of video gaming.
Zuckerberg did say that Facebook has big plans for the acquisition. In his statement about the purchase, he shared the vision of sitting in a classroom of students from all over the world, or visiting a doctor just by putting goggles on at home.
The next investment will likely be wearable hardware that can help people access the virtual world and work with information, content and people there. Facebook is trying to picture a defined future and drive innovation toward it, making its base social platform an integral part of the experience.
And WhatsApp. The company has also announced that it will buy WhatsApp, a mobile messaging app for $16 billion plus up to $3 billion in future payouts. That purchase was a bet on the rapid growth in mobile messages, a type of one-to-one communication that bypasses Facebook.