At a recent intellectual property trial facing virtual reality (VR) headset maker Oculus, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his company will likely be investing $3 billion in VR over the next 10 years to bring the technology to more people, as originally reported by the New York Times.
The statement came as part of Zuckerberg's testimony in the trial defending Oculus against claims from ZeniMax Media that Oculus had stolen trade secrets and violated copyrights. Facebook became the parent organization of Oculus when it acquired the company in 2014.
Facebook paid a reported $2 billion for Oculus when the acquisition deal originally went through. With additional retention bonuses and incentives, that investment has reached $3 billion. In the trial, Zuckerberg noted that he believes there are still five or 10 more years left of VR development for the company to reach its goal, and that additional $3 billion investment could help it get there.
However, that is if the trial with ZeniMax Media doesn't cause any major problems. Although, as the New York Times reported, if Facebook loses the lawsuit it could be facing up to $2 billion in damages.
The proposed $3 billion investment follows a host of advancements that Oculus has made following its acquisition by Facebook. In late 2016, Oculus announced that it was developing a new version of its headset that wouldn't require an additional computer to power it.
Around the same time in 2016, Facebook and Oculus announced their plans for a $250 million investment in VR content, following a previous $250 million investment. That investment was split, with $10 million going to supporting VR app and content creators who were women or minorities. Additionally, $50 million will be specifically allocated to mobile game developers.
Facebook also partnered with Unity Technologies in a move which could lead to more VR games in the future as well.
It's clear that Facebook and Oculus are some of the driving forces behind the recent resurgence of VR, but they're seeing increased competition from products like the HTC Vive and the Microsoft Hololens.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Facebook will invest $3 billion in VR over the next 10 years to bring a better experience to more users.
- Facebook has spent roughly $3 billion on Oculus, and has invested $500 million in VR development as well.
- Facebook is one of the VR leaders with its acquisition of Oculus, but it could struggle to compete if it loses its $2 billion lawsuit to ZeniIMax.
- How virtual reality can save humanity (TechRepublic)
- Academics, researchers ponder how quickly VR and AR will impact education (ZDNet)
- Virtual reality for business: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- VR and AR: The Business Reality (ZDNet)
- Why 2017 could be a big year for AR and VR in business (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.