Facebook — Making the Virtual a Reality

What would it feel like to soar over mountaintops? Or travel to Paris in a blink of the eye? How about sitting courtside at Wimbledon? Or better yet, playing at Wimbledon? Imagine not just telling but sharing the experience with twenty of your closest friends. With Facebook’s recent acquisition of Oculus VR, a company specializing in immersive virtual reality (VR) technology, that day may not be far off.

street view
Fancy a stroll around Paris? (Google street view through the Oculus Rift)

Adding virtual reality to the social experience

On March 25, 2014, in a surprise blog post, Facebook declared its intention to acquire Oculus VR for a record $2.3 billion, based merely on a development prototype of a VR headset designed to give the user an immersive reality experience. Up until that point, Oculus VR was seen merely as a technology company enhancing the way people experience video games. With this acquisition, Facebook hopes to create the largest virtual reality network in history, anticipating over a billion simultaneous users.

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed his reasons for the deal: “Oculus’s mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences.” He explained further, “When you put [the Oculus Rift] on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re

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