Those of you who don’t closely follow developments in the still-nascent virtual reality industry might have not come across Facebook’s (who bought Oculus for $2.3B in 2014) latest move. As of last Tuesday, they formally made the following announcement:
Now, before I touch upon why this isn’t great news, I feel it’s important to shed light on what a hugely important role Oculus has played in developing virtual reality technologies. For the uninitiated, Oculus is one of the largest virtual reality headset manufacturers in the world. Prior to their tremendously successful Kickstarter campaign from 2012, it was unclear what the catalyst would be for the wave of commercial VR that many could feel on the horizon. Steven LaValle who gets surprisingly little mention despite being the original Chief Scientist for the project made huge advances in our understanding of these technologies. For those of you curious about the insane fusion of disciplines and technologies that drive VR/AR and other forms of perceptual engineering, I strongly recommend LaValle’s free masterpiece.
Having been able to lever