LAS VEGAS -- Among the most highly anticipated rollouts at this month's Consumer Electronics Show is Oculus Rift. Created by Oculus VR, the lightweight platform is said to bring the virtual reality concept to the home market at an affordable price.
Created two years ago by 19-year-old student Palmer Luckey working with scraps obtained from arcade VR systems and spare parts in his parents' garage, the project is now funded by venture capital. Pundits are predicting Oculus Rift will have a significant impact on the home gaming market.
Experts are saying that Oculus Rift succeeds where previous VR systems failed. Its compact, lightweight design makes extended play possible, while computing horsepower and high-resolution screens have improved dramatically since its predecessors entered the market a decade or more ago. The virtual reality headset provides an immersive stereoscopic 3D experience with a 10-degree diagonal field of view.
Reviews of Oculus from the trade press and bloggers attending CES have been nothing short of outstanding. By many accounts, the system lives up to the advance hype.
In its latest round of venture capital funding, announced in December 2013, the company received some $75 million in angel investment from Irvine, CA-based Andreessen Horowitz. The firm, founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, has previously invested in such companies as Facebook, Airbnb, Jawbone, Twitter and Skype.
"We believe Oculus will not only alter the gaming landscape, but will redefine fundamental human experiences in areas like film, education, architecture, and design," said Andreessen at the time of the funding announcement. "Oculus is at the tip of the iceberg of its potential, and we're incredibly excited to help them change the world."