This week as been an Oculus Rift sort of week! With this article from Business Insider, describing 10 Amazing Ways People Are Using The Oculus Rift Today! Seeing the device evolve from gaming hardware, to life hacker, I see the world possibly enhanced rather than purely amplified, by the Oculus headset. After Mark Zuckerberg announced the acquisition of Oculus VR, I kind of feel better seeing other ways to use it.
As I was receiving an influx of Oculus news I was forced to consider my thoughts on Google Glass (now available on mass in United States) and how I felt about head mounted displays in general. Because of my entrepreneurial nature I often take a “commercialization” point of view and feel as though Glass and Oculus are still miles away from the “real deal”. Not because the product doesn’t fork well, but becasue (thanks mostly to Apple) aesthetics plays a huge role and Glass (cyborg-look-a-like) and Oculus (insert more nerdy definition) are both quite hard to imagine in the mainstream.
FACEBOOK killed Instagram
It’s not exactly true, but argued among many, that Facebook seeks and destroys. Instragram loyalists all panicked at the acquisition of their favorite photo-filter-applying App. With a familiar acquisition of Whatsapp, and similar revolt, is it possible that the world’s largest social media giant [facebook] is staving off their own death with these buy-outs. Rhetorically, was Oculus part of the same master plan, or was it forward thinking?
LIFE after Facebook
Thinking through the challenges of Oculus, and life after Facebook intervention, I believe Oculus has a huge fork-in-the-road dilemma ahead. One one side, it needs to stay loyal to it’s early-adopter fan base, and therefore strengthen it’s gaming desires. On the other side however, maybe it needs to reside inside vertical markets and try to strengthen it’s financial model so that facebook trust is repaid by strong ROI.
Ultimately, the war on terror is going to come down to how much energy the United States throws at PR and marketing. The war on Oculus (read: gamification of hardware) is going to come down to much the same, i.e. how much energy Facebook is willing to throw at PR and marketing too. It sounds quite shallow to suggest this, and doesn’t really give the general public the respect it deserves, but I’ve seen it happen in the Tablet industry (Apple beat Microsoft to the punch, even though Microsoft was first to market with a Tablet PC) and in this case with the offensive strategy Facebook has taken, Oculus has staved off the same death that Microsoft walked into. Maybe, just maybe, Oculus will give rise to a new way of seeing the world, not just shooting and getting points.