I just received an email from Oculus stating that their first products will ship Q1 of 2016. Many of us who gave support on Kickstarter were very disappointed when Oculus founders sold out to facebook for 2 billion dollars. Many of us had put down our hard earned money to give them the initial “heave-HO,” and there were thousands of developers who were volunteering their time to create working software for the new media platform. We felt like the people at Oculus took the money and ran. I’ve actually nearly given up on the company, as the past couple of years have been nothing but media hype and photo-ops with the prototype hardware.
Although they did send me a prototype, and I was certainly impressed with the potential of the hardware, one thing is for certain — I will absolutely not purchase an Oculus Rift if I have to create an account with facebook, or any other site for that matter. I do look forward to seeing the future development of virtual reality, however, and think that Oculus is a milestone in the future of computational prosthesis. It will be a number of decades before we begin to see integrated neurocircuitry, but the software being developed today for binocular signal transmission will be key to future implementations.
Alas! All is in the waiting. Until then, I’m going to spend a little free time this summer catching up on my cyberpunk with William Gibson’s “Neuromancer.”