Facebook has hired an Oculus virtual reality team in London
In an attempt to create its first European base for the Oculus Rift division, Facebook has hired a number of virtual reality experts in London.
Going by the employee profiles on the professional networking website, Linkedin, the number of developers and engineers in the UK team have increased substantially.
Currently, there is a team of 12 members, out of which eight have only joined in the last six months. There are also reports that Facebook is continuously posting job adverts for VR experts to ramp up the team.
The team in London is being led by Mike LeBeau. He was working with Google previously and was responsible for Google’s voice search software.
LeBeau moved to London in January to join the Oculus team and get things started. Talking about the UK team, he wrote on Facebook –“We’re going to build some really cool stuff.”
Though, the Oculus team did not share much details about what exactly they were working on, when asked, this is what they had to say – “We’ll have more to share on our international plans soon.”
On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg had a lot to say about Facebook’s virtual reality division at Mobile World Congress this year. “Pretty soon we are going to live in a world where everyone has the power to experience whole scenes as if you are there in person,” he said.
“VR is the next platform, where anyone can create and experience anything they want. That’s why Facebook is investing in these platforms so early on,” he added.
London is already one of the biggest Facebook offices outside the US, and now it holds the first Oculus Rift division in Europe.
Oculus was founded by Palmer Lucky, who built the first Oculus headset prototype at the age of 18. In 2014, Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion and now it has offices in six US cities, along with some offices abroad.
The first headset, Oculus Rift were released last month and the company started shipping them. People have been going crazy about the Oculus Rift headsets and the waiting lists are huge, but the only thing pulling some back is the high price.
Google, Sony and HTC are also trying to ace the virtual reality market. Both Sony and HTC are going to release their virtual reality devices later this year.
Though Deloitte predicts that over 1 million VR devices will be sold by the end of 2016, their high pricing and system requirements can prove to be a major setback for some users.