It's just been announced that Oculus VR, makers of the Oculus Rift headset currently in development, has secured an additional $16 million in funding. After starting with a mere $2.4 million in Kickstarter funds that resulted in hundreds of developer kits being sent out and a brand new HD version of the goggles, what will $16 million bring about? As a potential buyer, I can't wait to find out.
Here's a brief statement put out by Oculus VR CEO Brendon Iribe:
"There are still many challenging problems to solve, but with the support of these great investment partners, and our passionate community, we will continue to hire the brightest minds and stay laser focused on delivering the very best virtual reality platform possible."
In the grand scheme of things $16 million isn't going to get a product like Oculus Rift as far as it needs to go. In a perfect world, the team at Oculus VR wants to finish prototyping its HD headset, pump out the design to manufacturing and get it across store shelves across the world. That's in addition to continuing to produce development tools for studios and working with engine developers and console producers to get the headset supported on all platforms for as many games as possible.
I'm no analyst, but I'm going to bet that $16 million will get the Oculus Rift just far enough to ask consumers online for purchases. That may be some time down the road, but hopefully that's what we can expect -- it gets them just far enough to see if this really can survive in the wild, just far enough to potentially get more money on retail sales.
To close out, here's part of a statement put out by Matrix Partners, one of the investment firms that have placed their support behind the Oculus Rift:
"When Oculus’ CEO, Brendan Iribe, first brought the demo over to our office, it was one of those moments that inspire a mix of deja vu (because you’ve read about concepts like this so many times before) with a sense of wonder about just how much of science fiction is possible today. It might be rough around the edges right now, and the team has loads of work ahead of it before the Rift can go mass market, but to be so wholly transported to another place by such an immersive piece of technology, we immediately knew that this is a piece of the future we wanted to support."