The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset display developed and manufactured by the Facebook-owned company Oculus VR. The device hit the retail market in late 2016 and now sells for around 600 U.S. dollars (May 2017) at the official Oculus Rift online store. In 2016 alone almost 250 thousand Oculus Rift headsets have been sold worldwide.
Prior to the release of the Oculus Rift to the retail market in 2016, two Oculus Rift development kits, DK1 and DK2, had already been released in order to encourage the development of games and content. These development kits were sold for 300 and 350 U.S. dollars respectively. Initially designed for game purposes, the Oculus Rift has also garnered interest outside of the gaming industry. By offering precise simulations of real situations, the device could be used for innovative applications in the tourism industry, the automobile industry, and the media industry to name a few.
According to a recent Statista survey, the Oculus Rift is one of the best-known virtual reality headsets in the U.S. One of the reasons for this is the fact that its manufacturer, Oculus VR, was acquired by Facebook in 2014. A move which many believe will have a positive effect on the product’s development, and certainly drew more attention to the device. Aside of Facebook, Oculus VR also has partnerships with major technology companies such as Microsoft and Samsung, placing the Oculus Rift in the spotlight of the technology industry.
The Oculus Rift is seen by many as a possible breakthrough device/application for the virtual reality market, which is projected to increase from 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 to 21.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. According to recent forecasts, shipments of virtual reality headsets are forecast to grow from 10.1 million units in 2016 to more than 60 million units by 2020.
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