Oculus Rift May Soon Put You in the Movies (Report)
The Oculus Rift VR headset is mostly a way to feel totally immersed in video games, but videophiles have been quick to point out that it has potential applications in just about any sphere. Facebook (which purchased Oculus Rift for $2 billion) is reportedly in the process of meeting with major movie studios in order to bring more passive visual experiences right to viewers' eyeballs.
The report comes from the professional tech publication The Information, although the majority of the article is hidden behind a paywall. The magazine claims that four reputable sources have shared information about Facebook's dealings with both film studios and influential directors in order to expand Oculus Rift beyond video games.
MORE: What is the Oculus Rift?
If the information is accurate, Facebook would like these studios to develop "Oculus experiences" that go alongside major film releases. These companion films would allow users to explore and interact with a movie's world in a limited fashion in order to get them hyped to see a film in theaters. Leveraging the Rift's capabilities for full motion pictures could come later.
Using the Oculus Rift to watch movies is simple enough, and wouldn't require any kind of special development. However, the device can also track the motion of a user's head. In conjunction with other types of motion controllers, a user can even walk around a virtual room and interact with objects. Making movies that function with this kind of specificity could take an awful lot of time, money and effort.
As for why Facebook may be so keen to get movie studios onboard, The Information theorizes that a niche gaming device won't be enough to make its $2 billion investment worthwhile. Hollywood movies may generate much more money than video games that cater to a hardcore crowd — if studios are interested, that is. Facebook is gung-ho on the Oculus Rift, but studios that have no vested interest in the product may not be.
Either way, neither Facebook nor any major studios have solidified any plans so far. For now, the Oculus Rift is still, first and foremost, a gaming peripheral.