Oculus founder: Zuckerberg played us, but Facebook has become Oculus

At the start of 2022, Facebook, which had already changed its name to Meta, renamed its most popular VR headset, the Oculus Quest line, to Meta Quest – seven years after acquiring Oculus VR, Mark Zuckerberg has finally completed Facebook’s “de-Oculus-ization” campaign.

As the first person to be “kicked out” of Facebook’s management, Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey is not having a bad time. The fat guy who once wore the Oculus Rift headset in a weird pose on the cover of Time magazine has turned around and set up the military technology company Anduril, and successfully won a billion-dollar order from the U.S. military.

In a recent interview with foreign media, Luckey revealed his communication with Ukrainian President Zelensky, the ethics of AI in the midst of war, and, inevitably, his views on Facebook, now renamed Meta.

Luckey agrees with Zuckerberg’s “meta-universe” view, but there may be a problem with the way it’s moving forward. As for the “de-Oculusing” of Facebook, Luckey argues that “it’s not that Oculus has been ‘absorbed’ by Facebook, but that Facebook has ‘grown’ into Oculus.


Facebook finally “Grew into Oculus

In 2014, Facebook bought Oculus VR for a whopping $2 billion, setting off the VR/AR wave that followed in the years since.

However, the VR industry did not take off as smoothly as everyone expected, but began to cool down in 2017. In the three years since acquiring Oculus, Facebook has managed to “purge” three of its founders and executives, including Luckey, from its ranks, leaving behind only legendary programmer and Oculus CTO John Carmack and chief scientist Michael Bbrash.

After successfully renaming the Oculus Connect conference to the Facebook Connect conference, Facebook itself changed its name to Meta last year, once again announcing its determination to enter the metaverse to the world.

For someone who started signing emails with “See you in the metaverse” 10 years ago, Luckey says Facebook’s name change and ambitions for the metaverse are worthy of approval.

Luckey believes that Facebook’s long-term vision of building a metaverse is the right one, despite its short-term strategic problems.

“When we were acquired, some people said Facebook would assimilate Oculus, and I think the opposite happened: Facebook was assimilated by Oculus, it became Oculus,” Luckey said.

As for the “metaverse,” a concept that has become so hot that it’s out of the loop, Luckey believes that Zuckerberg and himself share the same philosophy, though it comes from Neal Stephenson, author of Snow Crash, and “a lot of science fiction that came before that.

Lcukey believes that while the Horizon World (Meta’s virtual space platform) that Facebook is currently working on “doesn’t look very ‘meta-universe,'” Zuckerberg is really building something that people want.

The reason why he and his team were attracted to Zuckerberg and Facebook was that the latter had a very strong strategic approach to ensure that the metaverse would come to fruition as soon as possible.

“I wrote in an internal email at the time that Zuckerberg could be playing us. Even so, his vision is exactly the same as ours,” Luckey said. Luckey said.

As Luckey said, with Facebook’s strong financial backing, the Oculus Quest headset has been able to sell nearly 10 million units at a low price, making VR more accessible to more people.

“Zuckerberg is the world’s number one VR fan, and he’s invested more in VR than anyone else in the world, both in terms of money and cost of time,” Luckey said.


Weapons really aren’t as fun as VR

In 2016, it was revealed that Luckey had donated $10,000 to the anti-Hillary group Nimble America, and that the chubby little Hawaiian shirt-wearing guy was a “big Trump fan. This was apparently so outlandish in California’s Silicon Valley, the Democratic Party’s vote bank, that he had to publish an apology on his official Facebook blog after the incident came to light.

Luckey left Facebook in March 2017, and soon founded Anduril Industries, a military technology company that uses a signal tower to detect small drones, and once detected, the Lattice system releases small, fast drones that fly directly into enemy aircraft. Anduril says the Lattice system is suitable for all small drones.

Anduril has grown rapidly, acquiring three companies, and is now valued at $5 billion, making it the third defense unicorn to emerge from Silicon Valley after Palantir and SpaceX. After Palantir and SpaceX, it is the third unicorn in the defense sector to emerge from Silicon Valley.

Anduril’s flagship product, Lattice, is essentially a “messaging system” that uses multiple sensors to transmit all movements and information about a surveillance area to those who need to know. Inevitably, AI is used for functions such as identification.

As for the ethics of using AI in warfare, Luckey argues that many people now say AI should be banned from the battlefield, but the truth is that “AI has been used in warfare for a long time,” from tracking missiles to combat systems for warplanes, and no one has been able to solve that challenge.

For a former VR entrepreneur and enthusiast, Luckey says he may not be as happy as he was when he was doing VR, but it’s worth it to think that his product is solving the problem of “what if there’s a thermonuclear attack”.

“If I were making AR emoji packs or something like that, I don’t think the level of satisfaction would be as high as it is now.

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