Note from DSA Editor - On the surface this press release from Facebook (see below) is not obviously a "Storage or Data" related issue, however we cant help but see some convergence here. Social Media is already feeding Big Data analytics, we have even seen new micro lenders basing loan decision largely from data collected from Social Media. Combine that with data analytics visualisation and we start to wonder just where the applications for a VR headset owned by a social media giant might take us. That said, we are not convinced that Mark Zuckerberg has got it right here. Brilliant though he is, we have seen VR touted as the platform of the future before and it has never happened. There is no doubt that Facebook missed out and got left behind as social media went mobile, and to some extent this may be an attempt not to "miss the next boat". The question is whether he is backing the right horse or not? We think its highly risky, but perhaps it could prove to be truly visionary.
There has already been backlash to this acquisition from the early Kickstarter investors (where Oculus raised over $2million in donations). We have seen reports of early investors feeling betrayed and not understanding why Oculus sold out to Facebook, a company that has no basis in gaming. We understand the frustration, but in our opinion an acquisition like this may give Oculus a future that will be more varied with many more applications than were ever originally conceived, including taking bid data predictive analytics to a level that at the moment we cant even imagine.
MENLO PARK, Calif., March 25, 2014 -- Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Oculus VR, Inc., the leader in immersive virtual reality technology, for a total of approximately $2 billion. This includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock (valued at $1.6 billion based on the average closing price of the 20 trading days preceding March 21, 2014 of $69.35 per share).
The agreement also provides for an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones. Oculus is the leader in immersive virtual reality technology and has already built strong interest among developers, having received more than 75,000 orders for development kits for the company's virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift. While the applications for virtual reality technology beyond gaming are in their nascent stages, several industries are already experimenting with the technology, and Facebook plans to extend Oculus' existing advantage in gaming to new verticals, including communications, media and entertainment, education and other areas. Given these broad potential applications, virtual reality technology is a strong candidate to emerge as the next social and communications platform. "Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," said Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."
"We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world," said Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR. "We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it's only just the beginning." Oculus will maintain its headquarters in Irvine, CA, and will continue development of the Oculus Rift, its ground-breaking virtual reality platform.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.