SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) – Fb Inc (FB.O) is launching a brand new digital actuality headset that doesn’t require a separate pc to function, permitting extra cellular makes use of than the corporate’s current Oculus Rift product, Chief Govt Mark Zuckerberg mentioned on Wednesday.
Zuckerberg, talking at a convention for digital actuality builders, mentioned the “Oculus Go” system would value $199 and ship early subsequent yr, too late for this yr’s vacation procuring season however probably forward of rivals.
Fb has invested closely in digital actuality in hopes the know-how, which affords a 360-degree panoramic view of faraway or imaginary areas, will transfer from a distinct segment curiosity to a broadly used platform for gaming, communication and enterprise purposes.
In 2014, Fb paid $three billion to accumulate Oculus and retain its workers.
The Oculus Go is billed as easier than the Rift, which went on sale final yr, or the Vive system made by HTC Corp (2498.TW). Each of these require desktop computer systems to function.
“I feel you’re going to see these quite a bit on airplanes, as a result of it’s means higher than the back-of-the-seat monitor or my cellphone,” Mike Schroepfer, Fb’s chief know-how officer, mentioned in an interview.
Schroepfer mentioned the system is geared toward individuals who should not have Samsung smartphones. Oculus and Samsung Electronics Co 005939.KS already promote a tool, named Gear VR, that when paired with sure Samsung telephones is just like Oculus Go.
Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) affords a rival headset, Google Daydream, that works with but extra smartphones.
“The Oculus Go has potential to be an enormous driver of development,” if folks just like the titles and apps on it, Stephanie Llamas, vice chairman of analysis at Tremendous Knowledge, mentioned in an electronic mail.
Fb will completely reduce the value of the Rift system to $399 from $499, the corporate mentioned.
Fb is predicted to ship 213,000 Rift programs this yr, whereas HTC is predicted to ship 305,000 Vive programs, in accordance with Tremendous Knowledge analysis.
Past worth cuts and new merchandise, Fb is attempting alternative ways to draw folks to the virtual-reality medium.
The corporate is growing software program generally known as Fb Areas that enables buddies to satisfy in digital rooms, and it mentioned it’ll quickly combine dwell video.
On Wednesday, the corporate mentioned it was releasing know-how to create higher, personalized facial photos, or avatars, and would quickly add the power to make use of taking part in playing cards in Fb Areas, along with the cube it already has.
Reporting by David Ingram, enhancing by David Gregorio and Andrew Hay