Reality Labs

Reality Labs is a business of Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook Inc.) that produces virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) hardware and software, including virtual reality headsets such as Quest, and online platforms such as Horizon Worlds. Reality Labs is the corporate successor to Oculus, a company that was founded in 2012 by Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, Michael Antonov and Nate Mitchell to develop a VR headset for video gaming known as the Oculus Rift. Before the acquisition, Oculus raised over $2.4 million for the project via a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter—nearly ten times the original goal of $250,000. Oculus was acquired by Facebook in March 2014. The company partnered with Samsung Electronics to release the Gear VR accessory for Samsung Galaxy smartphones in 2015. In March 2016, Oculus released the first consumer version of the Rift headset. In 2017, the company released a standalone mobile headset known as Oculus Go, produced by Xiaomi. In 2019, it released a high-end standalone headset known as Oculus Quest (which, since a software update, is capable of operating as both a standalone and PC headset), and Oculus Rift S, a follow-up to the original Oculus Rift manufactured by Lenovo. In 2020, the Oculus Quest 2 was released. Oculus ceased operating as an autonomous subsidiary of Facebook in 2018, and became a brand of Facebook Technologies, LLC (marketed as Oculus from Facebook)—a subsidiary that includes other Facebook-developed hardware such as Portal. The Oculus team was later amalgamated into Facebook Reality Labs, a business of Facebook dedicated to VR and AR. In October 2021, Facebook announced that Reality Labs would begin to report its revenue separately from the Facebook "Family of Apps". Facebook subsequently announced that it would change its corporate name to Meta, and the Oculus brand was replaced on current and existing products by the "Meta" (hardware) and "Horizon" (online communities) brands. Under Facebook ownership, Oculus products have been increasingly integrated with Facebook and its social networking platforms: since October 2020, all new users, and any user of Facebook-produced VR hardware released since then (beginning with Oculus Quest 2) must log in with a Facebook account in order to use their headsets. Support for standalone Oculus accounts was announced as ending in January 2023, although in October 2021 it was stated that "new ways to log into Quest that won’t require a Facebook account" were being developed. This requirement has faced criticism due to digital privacy concerns and Facebook's real-name policy, and prompted Facebook to suspend sales of all Oculus products in Germany due to concerns from regulators over its compliance with the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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