‘Zuckerberg played us, but Facebook became Oculus’

In 2022, Facebook, renamed Meta. At the same time, it also rebranded its most popular line of VR headsets, the Oculus Quest, to Meta Quest. The move comes about seven years after it acquired Oculus VR. Many people say that Mark Zuckerberg has finally completed Facebook’s “Oculus absorption” campaign.

As the first person to be “fired” by Facebook from management, Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey has been annoyed many times. Luckey, who used to wear Oculus Rift headsets and appeared on the cover of Time magazine in a bizarre pose, immediately “turned his car” to found Anduril, a military technology company. This company has now successfully won billions of dollars worth of orders for the US military.

And in a recent interview with the media, Luckey shared his views on Facebook, as well as the story of Oculus in the past.

Accordingly, Luckey agrees with Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for the Metaverse, but thinks the road ahead “could be problematic”. As for the past story, he said that “it was not Oculus that was absorbed by Facebook”, but that Facebook “evolved into Oculus”.

Oculus founder: 'Zuckerberg played us, but Facebook became Oculus' - Photo 1.

Palmer Luckey wore Oculus Rift headphones and posed for a bizarre pose on the cover of the famous Time magazine.

Facebook has finally grown Oculus Citadel

In 2014, Facebook invested $2 billion to acquire Oculus VR, a company that was only a few years old with the hope of creating a worldwide wave of VR/AR.

However, the virtual reality industry did not go as smoothly as expected, it began to cool down in 2017. In the 3 years since acquiring Oculus, Facebook has successfully “removed” 3 founders and its former executives, including Luckey. The only people left are programmer and CTO John Carmack, and chief scientist Michael Bbrash.

After renaming the Oculus Connect virtual reality conference to Facebook Connect, Facebook itself changed its name to Meta last year, once again declaring to the world its determination to join the metaverse virtual universe.

As for the rebranding and Facebook’s ambitions for the metaverse, Luckey believes Facebook’s move deserves approval and support. The former Oculus CEO said that for about 10 years now, he has used a signature in emails that read: “See you in the metaverse”. That was even mentioned in an open letter to employees when it was acquired by Facebook in 2014. It’s also something Luckey has always wanted to build on, so he was very pleased with Meta’s focus. into that. And he believes that while Facebook has problems with its short-term strategy, its long-term vision of building the metaverse is correct.

“When we were acquired, some people said that Facebook would assimilate Oculus,” Luckey said. “But I think it turned out the other way around: Facebook was taken over by Oculus and it turned into Oculus.”

According to Luckey, while Horizon World – Meta’s virtual space platform – doesn’t look like a metaverse right now, Zuckerberg is actually building something people want.

Oculus founder: 'Zuckerberg played us, but Facebook became Oculus' - Photo 2.

At the end of October 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be renamed to Meta.

Lucery said the reason why he and his team were attracted to Zuckerberg and Facebook at the time was because the partnership prepared a series of very powerful strategic measures to ensure that the metaverse could be realized. as soon as possible.

“I wrote in an internal email that Zuckerberg may be playing a trick on us. Even so, his vision is identical to ours.” Luckey said.

And just as Luckey had predicted, with strong financial support from Facebook, the Oculus Quest headset could be sold at a cheap price, allowing more people to access VR technology.

“Zuckerberg is the number one VR fan in the world, and he’s invested more in VR than anyone else in the world, both in money and time.” Luckey commented.

Real weapons are not as interesting as VR

In March 2017, Luckey left Facebook. Soon after, he created Anduril Industries, a company focused on military technology. One of the company’s products, called the Lattice system, uses a mobile watchtower to detect small drones. And once a drone is detected, Lattice will launch a small but high-speed drone, quickly approaching and knocking down the target in mid-air. An Anduril representative said its system works with all different types of drones.

Not long after its founding, Anduril caught the attention of the US military and recently received two billion-dollar orders from the US Air Force and Special Operations Command. Anduril has grown rapidly and has successively acquired three smaller companies including one that makes robotic submarines, and it is now valued at around $5 billion. This is also the third “unicorn” in the field of defense to emerge from Silicon Valley, after Palantir and SpaceX.

Anduril’s flagship product is now a comprehensive surveillance system. It uses a variety of sensors and technologies so that soldiers can see what is happening on the battlefield in real time.

Oculus founder: 'Zuckerberg played us, but Facebook became Oculus' - Photo 3.

Palmer Luckey.

But despite such success, Luckey still keeps the habit of regularly wearing Hawaiian shirts, and sometimes still wearing cosplay.

For a former businessman and VR enthusiast, the battle in virtual reality has turned into veritable “attacks and defenses”. But Luckey admits that he sometimes doesn’t feel as happy as he did in his VR days.

“I still love VR. I’ve had a lot of fun working on video games. I used to think about what would delight users, what would be great,” he said. Luckey shared. “But I guess my mind is a little less wild than it used to be. Now I think about things like, how would my system work in full-blown thermonuclear war when the enemy was trying to bombard it, jamming and destroying us?Personally, I’m probably less satisfied working on defense than when I’m in VR.The upside of this is it’s great to do something really important . If I were working on AR emojis, I don’t think I would be able to feel that to the same extent.”

Refer Wired

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