Facebook: Oculus Rift Will be ‘the on-ramp to optical computing’

Following Facebook’s now historic acquisition of Oculus VR earlier this year, many started to speculate on a seemingly inevitable social networking revolution using the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD). This seemed like a good a reason as any for Facebook to spend $2 billion USD on the VR specialists, though it appears as if it wasn’t the only one. Earlier this week Dan Rose, Facebook’s VP of content and media partnerships, revealed that the company was interested in another potential application of the HMD; optical computing.


Rose stated as much in a conversation with Oculus VR’s Jason Rubin at the Paley International Council Summit this week. As Business Insider reports, Facebook sees the Oculus Rift as a ‘natural progression’ for computing. “If you think about the trends in computing technology over the last 50 years,” Rose said, “we went from mainframe computers, which were very impersonal and distant, to desktop computers that became directly interactive — you can touch and feel and interact with and interface yourself and set on your desk — to laptops, which you can now suddenly take with you, [to] now today, everybody has a computer in their pocket.

“The natural progression of that suggests that the next computing platform will move closer to our bodies. And our belief is that means that it will be something that sits directly on our face that we interact with through our eyes.”

He continued, stating that: “There are a lot of different approaches to how this might take place. Our bet is that virtual reality will be the on-ramp to optical computing.”

Using a computer with just your eyes is certainly an interesting concept, though it would likely require eye-tracking technology that Oculus VR has said is not quite ready for its HMD just yet. That said, earlier this week SensoMotoric Instruments revealed its own eye-tracking upgrade package for the device’s second development kit (DK2). VRFocus will continue to follow any and all news surrounding the Oculus Rift, reporting back with all of the latest updates.