Oculus Rift gets major boost with $75M in funding

The company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming goggles plans use the cash to bulk up staff and get a commercial version of the goggles out to customers.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Oculus VR, the company behind the highly anticipated Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming goggles, has just secured a boatload of cash to bring the product to market.

The company late Thursday announced that it has secured $75 million in a venture funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Spark Capital and Matrix Partners, among others, participated in the round.

The cash infusion, which dwarfs the more than $18 million Oculus has raised through Kickstarter and a Series A round, will be used to hire more staff, the company said in a statement. That staff, coupled with the funding, will provide the company the opportunity to get the Oculus Rift to store shelves more quickly.

The Oculus Rift is nothing if not ambitious. The head-mounted display provides full stereoscopic 3D. Oculus VR founder Brenda Iribe believes that the technology will do what traditional 3D gaming has been unable to do -- create an environment within the goggles that makes people feel as though they're actually there.

The biggest barrier to entry right now is that the Rift has yet to make its way to the customer. Over 40,000 Oculus Rift development kits have been sent to developers who are tinkering with the technology, but this latest round of funding will be designed to get the device into the hands of actual gamers.

The funding news comes just a day after Apple was awarded a patent on a similar goggle design . The iPhone maker's technology envisions its head-mounted display to provide viewing for movies, television shows, and yes, games.

(Via Gamesbeat)

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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