On Tuesday, social media giant Facebook (FB) shocked the tech world by announcing that it will pay $2 billion to acquire Oculus VR, the two-year old developer of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. So what is Oculus Rift?
Put simply, Oculus Rift is a large headset, featuring a 5-inch OLED display set in front of a wearer’s eyes. The screen displays two 960 x 1080 pixel images of the same view simultaneously with lenses set between each eye and the screen to focus the image and create three-dimensional 100 degree view. Sensors embedded in the Oculus Rift headset can track a user’s head movements, Tom’s Guide notes.
Connected to a computer by a cable, the Oculus Rift headset allows a users see a three-dimensional world as if they are actually inside it. When a user turns his or her head, the field of view shifts to mirror the user’s movement, bolstering the impression that the user is actually inside the virtual world.
Oculus Rift was created by Palmer Luckey, who demonstrated the original Oculus Rift device in 2012. After founding Oculus VR and raising $2.4 million in financing, the company developed a second development kit for the Oculus Rift, which is currently available to developers.
The current version of Oculus Rift includes a screen whose resolution allows users to see the space between pixels on the display, creating the so-called “screen door effect.” A future model meant for the consumer market is expected to feature a higher-resolution display that would eliminate that effect.
FB stock sank 1% in Wednesday morning trading.