Facebook has a big plan to boost the virtual reality market, and it’s doing so in a very big way. As reported by Bloomberg, the social media behemoth is unveiling a $200 VR wireless headset later in the year.
A wireless VR headset that costs just $200 is Facebook’s game-changer to make the technology popular among millions of users across the world. Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that the device will ship in 2018.
The upcoming device won’t be different from other current Oculus products in the market. The headset according to the report, will be designed for immersive gaming, watching video and social networking, the sources who would rather have their names mentioned told Bloomberg. The VR headset is codenamed “Pacific” and is said to look exactly like a compact version of the Rift, but will be lighter than Samsung’s Gear VR headset, one of the sources added. However, the design could still be tweaked by Facebook. One thing though, the headset is designed in such a way as to make it easy for you to pull it out of the bag and watch movies on the go.
Last December, Virtual Reality giants such as Google VR, Oculus, Vive, HTC Vive, Acer Starbreeze, Samsung and Sony joined forces to promote and make the technology the next big thing. VR is already making waves in hundreds of industries today. Gone are the days when virtual reality was limited to the entertainment world; the technology has improved. Yet, we have only scratched the surface and much work still needs to be done to hit the bull’s eye.
The VR giants had announced the creation of the Global Virtual Reality Association. The group’s major objective is to make VR technology better than it is. The Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA), a non-profit organization in a statement said it will “develop and share best practices for industry and foster dialogue between public and private stakeholders around the world.”
That said, the companies involved would want to establish and maintain standard and chart the way forward for the industry. Personally I see this as a welcome development as it would encourage standard and healthy competition in the long run.
Of course, there are many challenges that need to be overcome despite the popularity of VR; and Tae-Yong Kim, Vice President, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics is not ignorant of this:
“The rapid growth of the virtual reality industry presents many challenges as well as opportunities. It is important that we set a clear precedent for best practices and create a solid foundation from which we can build meaningful progress. Samsung is pleased to join the GVRA and to work with other industry leaders to promote responsible development and adoption of VR globally.”
Of course, things continue to move at a very fast pace, and VR is going from strength to strength, especially with Facebook’s cheaper and affordable headsets set to hit the market before the end of the year.