Facebook's Oculus seeks partners to emulate Android model in drive for 1bn users

Oculus: in hunt for a partner
Oculus: in hunt for a partner

Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus plans to emulate Google's Android model by seeking out partners that can help make the hardware, in a bid to make virtual reality mainstream.

Oculus chief executive officer Brendan Iribe told Bloomberg the company was basing its expansion plans on Android in order to "get a billion people on virtual reality".

Iribe revealed the company has already had conversations with manufacturers including Sony, which is developing its own virtual reality technology dubbed Project Morpheus.

Iribe added that both companies have already demonstrated their products to one another.

Google has opened up its Android operating system to companies including Samsung and HTC and in the process broken Apple’s stranglehold on the smartphone market.

Oculus manufacturers the Oculus Rift headset and is preparing to launch the device commercially, but Iribe believes the company will not be able to sell one billion pairs of the headsets itself even with the backing of Facebook.

Iribe claims the company is open to talking to "any kind of partner" and said it has already received a "lot of interest".

Oculus was launched on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform and made waves at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas before being acquired by Facebook for $2bn in March.

However, Iribe said Oculus will probably hold off on making any partnerships until after the first consumer release of the Oculus Rift headset, which still does not have a release date set. 

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