Tag Archives: oculus

Oculus starts selling $299 Go business bundle

Facebook’s virtual reality arm is beginning to sell its Oculus Go headsets directly to business users with a dedicated bundle. Starting today, business users can order a business bundle with a 64GB Oculus Go headset for $299. Oculus isn’t charging much of a premium for business users, tacking on an extra $50 for some added accessories and an extended warranty with dedicated support is probably worth that hassle. The company currently charges $799 for its Rift business bundle — a headset system that retails for $399 on its own — though the bundle similarly includes some extra stuff. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Oculus is probably expecting to ship more volume on the Oculus Go and is shifting the margins a bit accordingly. There’s a decent business opportunity here for Oculus; running multiple Rifts and PCs is such an unimaginable hassle that without several dedicated troubleshooters, it’s pretty rough to scale options quickly. With Oculus Go, functionality is a bit more limited by tracking ability, but ditching Windows makes things infinitely simpler and life is better without having to slot a Samsung smartphone that often needs its own updates as well. The fact is, standalone headsets are much better suited to casual business use cases, though some partners will definitely still need the power of a PC and game developers will obviously be restricted to the platforms for which they’re building.

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Facebook paid $88 million this year to build out its Seattle area Oculus hub

Facebook continues to expand its VR ambitions in the Pacific Northwest. The company has been quietly growing its footprint 16 miles East of Seattle, in Microsoft’s backyard. A new analysis by real estate resource BuildZoom sheds additional light on the Menlo Park-based company’s efforts to build a satellite virtual reality HQ in and around Seattle. Over the last three years, Facebook has spent $106 million on construction and development permits for Oculus offices in Redmond. In 2018 alone, Facebook spent $88.3 million on Oculus -related permits for as many as eight new offices in the area. BuildZoom’s analysis identifies five properties in particular, all on Willow Road in Redmond, that span more than 90,000 square feet of lab and office space. Those locations are 10545 Willows Rd., 10785 Willows Rd., 9805 Willows Rd., 9845 Willows Rd. and 9461 Willow Road. Last November, Seattle-based news site GeekWire reported that Facebook was on the hunt for 200,000 square feet worth of R&D space in Redmond, to expand its existing Oculus research efforts there. At the time, Oculus listed more than 60 job positions in Redmond in additional to a smaller amount of hiring for its Oculus operations in Seattle proper. Oculus is currently hiring for 121 positions in Redmond , with 42 of them in research. 9805 Willows Rd, via Google Maps TechCrunch reached out to Facebook about its plans for the new Oculus offices but the company declined to comment. Late last year, an Oculus spokesperson told TechCrunch that the company is growing its Seattle team to achieve its goal to “ get 1 billion people into VR .” This May, Oculus announced that its Oculus Research division would be rebranded as Facebook Reality Labs

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Facebook’s virtual reality sculpting platform gets a 2.0 upgrade

Eighteen months since its initial release, Oculus is delivering some major updates to its Medium “immersive sculpting tool” in a free 2.0 update that’s being released today. The artistic tool is one of the company’s few first-party apps on the PC Rift platform. Today’s updates focus primarily on performance bumps, a UI revamp and some features the company says were frequently requested by users, including snapping grids and increased layer limits. “This is the culmination of a year of listening to our users and not only seeing what they’re creating but how — and learning what tools and features they love and lack,” Oculus’s Jessica Zeta said in a blog post. While VR art apps like Google’s Tilt Brush have seemed a bit amateurish in vibes, Oculus has been looking to position Medium as a more professional application that’s easy to get going with but hard to master. Alongside the new layer limit of 100 layers, Medium 2.0 will have a new file management system and some UI changes that the company hopes will make navigation a bit quicker. Speaking of quicker, Oculus says that 2.0 will get a bump in rendering horsepower after a rewrite in Vulkan, which the company says will improve performance handily. Oculus has devoted quite a few resources in its latest Rift Core 2.0 updates to bringing some customizability to the home environments that users launch experiences from. With Medium 2.0, users will be able to export their creations directly into their Home area. Oculus has learned quite a bit in the past 18 months about writing rules and leading a trail-blazing platform; Medium’s latest update seems to offer the group an opportunity to learn from users and just give them what they’ve been asking for.

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Oculus launches its first app focused on watching television

Oculus is launching a TV app for users to check out streaming video content on a big virtual screen on the Oculus Go headset. The company highlighted Oculus TV at Facebook’s F8 developer conference as one of four new Oculus-built apps that would allow users to get the most out of the inexpensive headset. The app was supposed to launch by the end of May, but we’re finally getting to take a look at it. Facebook wants a big selling point of the $199 Oculus Go to be that it’s the cheapest home theater you can buy. Oculus TV is a sizable step toward making all of the features related to conventional video viewing available easily. The app will be a free download for existing users of the headset and will come pre-installed on the device moving forward. The app centers around a virtual living room with a giant 2D screen where users can select videos to watch. It’s a little unclear why this app exists outside of the Oculus Rooms social app, which also has a dedicated space for viewing videos, but the company is likely just looking to put extra emphasis on the device’s video-watching capabilities. At launch the platform will have core support for Facebook Watch (naturally) as well as Red Bull TV and Pluto TV . This isn’t exactly an all-star launch lineup for the service, which users navigate similarly to an Apple TV interface, but the company is teasing new partners going forward, specifically teasing one with sports network ESPN.

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