Oculus came on the scene in 2012, when co-founders Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, Michael Antonov, and Nate Mitchell launched a Kickstarter campaign for their first virtual reality headset. It wasn’t long before Facebook snapped up this new technology, with bold plans for the future: Mark Zuckerberg plans on getting a billion VR headsets into consumers’ homes. Though the original founders have since moved on from the company, Oculus’ Cali-grown startup culture is still firmly in place in its single Menlo Park office. Oculus may not have been the first consumer VR company, but since its founding, it has been at the forefront of the market when it comes to exploring VR in the real world instead of in The Matrix. Its most iconic products, the Quest and the Rift, are primarily for gaming, though the company has recently focused on VR “experiences” like experiential videos or virtual meeting spaces. A recent partnership with Samsung produced the Samsung Gear VR, a VR headset compatible with the Samsung Galaxy phone, making VR accessible even for those without a high-tech PC setup.
Oculus has also been exploring options for VR that are perhaps less fun than Beat Saber, but can make a huge positive impact. Its VR for Good initiative aims to use VR to make the world better, safer, and more understanding, whether that’s through 360° documentaries like Driving While Black, about the history of Black safety while traveling; a training program for mine rescue teams; or the St. Jude Hall of Heroes, which makes superheroes out of the hospital’s brave patients.