Facebook’s Oculus VR wants to transform the school classrooms of the future with a new breed of virtual reality [VR] headset that its creators think will be big part of the education sector.
Brendan Iribe, chief executive of Oculus VR, told The Chronicle of Higher Education that his prototype that secured the $2 billion [£1.2 billion] takeover by Facebook is even more impressive than the current incarnation.
“We believe this is going to be one of the most transformative platforms for education of all time,” he said. “There’s this thing that happens when you see really great VR. And most of the world hasn’t seen it yet. Maybe only 1,000 people have seen really great VR that tricks your brain, the back of the brain, into thinking that it’s a real place. And when you get that, you suddenly get the feeling, and it’s not like I’m looking at a video game or some kind of entertainment experience. It’s like you’re in a virtual place.”
Iribe was talking at the University of Maryland after making a $31 million [£19 million] donation to fund a new computer science building at the institution that he found the two business partners that made the Oculus VR project become a reality.
With the outlay, the 35-year-old became the University’s most generous donor ever and Iribe explained that the reason VR education never worked in the past is down to the significant advances that have been made with hardware.
“People had incredible ambition. They had the idea. Everyone was dreaming about it. They were making movies about it in the 80s. But it never worked. Every time you put it on, you looked around, and it made you dizzy. You wanted to take them off. It made you sick,” Iribe said, promising that the vomit-inducing features are very much a thing of the past.
Facebook acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion back in March and shortly afterwards the creators announced an official launch date of 2015 for the headset that promises to be highly sought after.Porthole Ad