Computers

History of Oculus: a Quest for Virtual Reality

By on

oculus2

Oculus is one of the trending topics on the Web. The company raised $2.5 million dollars of funding from Kickstarter two years ago. Recently, Facebook acquired them for $2 billion. The company?s history is still short, but has already achieved so much in a short span of time.

Young Love

Palmer Luckey found his first love in the idea of virtual reality. By day, he was a student at a local community college. By night, he was the admin and founder of ModRetro, a group that modifies vintage gaming consoles. Video game enthusiasts typically share one thing in common: collecting rare finds. But Palmer would collect virtual reality headsets.

He would source them everywhere, from government auctions to industry liquidation sales. Palmer would get headsets that were once priced at $100, 000 for less than a hundred dollars. This young man eventually had the largest collection of VR headsets in the world.

From Hobby to Company

oculus1

At 16, Palmer found a new hobby in building his own VR headsets because he was unhappy with his collection. He was not aware that this hobby would soon become a company in the making. Palmer eventually bumped into Doom creator and id Software co ? founder, John Carmack. Within weeks, he dropped out of his journalism degree to build the company. In June 2012, Oculus VR was born.

The KickStarter Project

When Palmer first started thinking about Kickstarting a virtual reality headset, he hoped he?d get 100 or so enthusiasts to back his project. Then came the endorsements from Carmack. Within 24 hours, they’d raise $670,000 from 2,750 people. Within three days, they?d broken the ?million dollar mark.

Facebook Acquisition

Oculus insisted several times that they remain independent of Facebook. One proof is that the social media giant will keep its hands off for a long while. Oculus however, ?will get financial support from Facebook as they work on their project.

The acquisition has brought Oculus a new challenge: keeping people on their side. How could people turn this company down? The story of its birth is just one of the favorite tales in the tech world, where a brilliant kid who once worked in his garage became a company founder who raised millions.

About the author

To Top