Oculus VR has secured $75 million in funding to bring its virtual reality headset to consumers. The company has already sold over 40,000 development kits that include an early version of the Rift headset. Now, it's working on the final version destined for store shelves.
Prior to this round of "series B" funding, Oculus had raised $16 million in "series A" funding and another $2.4 million through Kickstarter. According to the press release posted by VentureBeat, much of this latest infusion comes from Netscape founder Marc Andreessen's venture capital firm. Andreessen will join the Oculus board as part of the deal, and he seems pretty enthusiastic about the tech's application beyond gaming. He says Oculus "will not only alter the gaming landscape but will redefine fundamental human experiences in areas like film, education, architecture, and design. The press release also quotes Oculus CTO John Carmack:
The games industry is well past the point where more pixels, texels, flops, and frames displayed on the same fixed screens are really changing the experiences that players get. I could say the same about other digital experiences as well. What will revolutionize gaming, and interactive content in general, is putting people inside the digital world. That is our goal at Oculus, and this Series B will help us get there.
I've not yet tried the Oculus Rift myself, but Carmack has a point. Everything I've heard from people who have tried the Rift suggests the device delivers a pretty incredible experience. Loads of game developers have signed on to support the headset, as well. By the time the commercial version is ready, there should be no shortage of titles ready to take advantage of it.
Oculus hasn't said when the Rift will be ready for prime time, and the device's resolution remains a concern. The development kits run at only 1280x720, or 640x720 per eye. 1080p prototypes are making the rounds at industry events, but Cyril has tried one, and he says pixelation is still a problem at that resolution. Let's hope Oculus can squeeze an even higher-density display into the final product.
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