Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is confident virtual reality is the nex great computing platform.
In a push to bring virtual reality (VR) to the masses sooner, Zuckerberg announced on Thursday at Oculus’s “Connect” conference in San Jose, Calif. that Oculus will commit an additional $250 million to fund a range of new content, such as games and entertainment, betting that ”great software experiences” are the next frontier of VR. The funding is an addition to the $250 million Oculus has already pledged to content development, and $10 million of the fund will be allocated specifically for educational virtual reality material.
“More than a million people actively use virtual reality products every month,” Zuckerberg said, calling Samsung Gear VR, produced with Oculus, and the Oculus Rift “amazing” experiences. “This is happening, and we have a lot to be excited about.”
“The first step is getting the basic hardware out there,” Zuckerberg said, about Facebook’s investment in the space. “This is happening at a faster rate than any of us had expected. The next phase of virtual reality is building great software.”
Zuckerberg also said Facebook is building a “standalone, affordable” VR headset that isn’t tethered to a PC like the current Oculus Rift. While Zuckerberg said Facebook’s standalone headset isn’t a finalized product yet, he showed the audience a demo of a man moving in virtual reality in a cordless experience.
“We’re working on this, and it’s still early,” Zuckerberg said of the headset, which is in development. “This is the kind of thing we believe will exist when you combine hardware innovation and next generation software experiences.”