My Take on Facebook & Oculus

Stop whining.

Why does one think that Facebook owning Oculus would have any impact on their ability to tap into Oculus’s stack?

A VR headset is a series of sensors and displays. Facebook can “hook in” to any VR headset as they so choose with their software. No different than Facebook Home can take over any Android device’s home screen, if Facebook ponies up enough money to make it the default.

Facebook could have cut a check to Oculus to integrate the Facebook API into their SDK, and make it an opt-out experience – same result. Solid VR headsets, once the technology works well, will be so prevalent that the competitive landscape will drive privacy choices. That word is important, because Facebook has every right to offer a compelling free/cheaper product that gets information in return.

If you’re a Gmail user, and you have a problem with this, I’ll give you a minute to think about your objection to Oculus. If you aren’t a Gmail user, and still aren’t happy with Facebook owning Oculus, I’ll give you a tip of the hat for your consistency.

Keep in mind, I have no problem with people wanting to opt-out of any perceived privacy crimping that Facebook might tap into Oculus with. Me personally, I have my Facebook account private. I read the settings. No, I don’t read the 46 page terms of service agreement, nor do I agree with the Supreme Court on binding arbitration clauses*. But, Facebook is a reputable company. I read the FAQ and set my settings appropriately. Oculus VR settings should be pretty darn similar, or consumers will reject the product.

* Just because I disagree doesn’t mean I won’t act in the interests of shareholders and enact that on every 46 page license agreement you’ll not read and click agree to.

I have one important point to end on, for all those concerned about Facebook’s “master plan” for Oculus. Facebook, like Google, invests in cool tech that they don’t know how to monetize just yet. It keeps many geeks happily employed that would otherwise be riding a couch somewhere.

Unnecessary Disclosure: While Team iConsole is working in the gaming space, we don’t have any deals with Oculus or Facebook. Nor would it have changed my opinion one iota if we did.

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