The Oculus Rift has come into the spotlight ever since Facebook acquired the small company for $2 billion last year. A headset designed to immerse users in incredibly detailed 3D environments, the virtual reality device may one day be a portal directly into the space of your family, friends, doctors, favorite movies and more. The first step toward that future has begun with Oculus' announcement that the public will be able to buy the Rift early next year.
Strapped completely over the eyes, the Rift will also come with removable headphones and a wireless game controller designed specifically for the Microsoft Xbox One console. Named Oculus Touch, the controller will feature haptic feedback and sensors that allow users to see their own hands in the virtual world. No price has been set yet, but the company previously said if the Rift is paired with PC hardware needed to run the headset, it will go for under $1,500.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's vision for the Rift at the time of his company's acquisition of Oculus was as a transformative technology that could be the next step for the social networking giant's main products. That's a long-term bet though — Oculus will start easing the technology in with a $10 million investment into independent game development. As for virtually teleporting into real environments around the world, the wait continues.
Regardless, the possibilities of the Rift make it sound like there might not be much need to live in reality pretty soon. It's a brave new world.