Though he departed Facebook earlier this year, Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey still came to the Oculus Connect 4 developer conference wearing sandals and a shirt with the worlds “I can develop VR a little” written on it.
For a considerable amount of time on the second day of the conference a crowd of VR developers gathered around and pinged him with a variety of questions. He declined to speak in specifics on some subjects but offered deep answers on many others, bringing laughter to the crowd with his candor.
“They’re not scary where they currently are,” Luckey said of brain-computer interfaces like the one made by Neurable.
Though he answered questions for much longer, I filmed Luckey’s informal question and answer session for 27 minutes. One of the questions I asked was about the potential of standalone VR headsets to accelerate the adoption of VR. Facebook’s VR division detailed updates on a pair of standalone systems during the conference. First was Oculus Go, which will ship early next year starting at the tempting entry price of $200. The more advanced Santa Cruz developer kit, which now offers hand controls, looks to release for developers sometime in 2018 as well. Luckey declined to say specifically when he thinks standalone systems will usher VR into the mainstream, but he made clear these kinds of all-in-one headsets will be the key to doing so.
“Standalone has always been the future,” Luckey said. “The end game of virtual reality is that all the compute is going to be on-board, they’re going to be specialized headsets, specialized render hardware made explicitly for virtual reality. 100% for sure. It’s the thing that’s going to make it mainstream.”
Check out his answers split across these two videos: