As the purveyors of a high ticket item, automotive manufacturers and retailers have always been more than happy to experiment with new technology in the pursuit of profit. Today's car buyers are more savvy and more careful than ever before, and virtual reality is the most recent tool being used to keep cars rolling off the line and into consumers' driveways. According to Bloomberg, in-home VR is a $1 billion industry in 2016, and is expected to grow to $21 billion by 2020. The automotive industry is taking advantage of VR in a number of ways, including letting potential buyers use that in-home gear to check out their next ride. There are other interesting things happening in the space, too, from stunning PR stunts at trade shows to incredibly sophisticated design tools used by top automotive engineers. Here are some of the most important things happening in the space.
Facebook's Oculus has been ordered to pay $500 million after a jury found that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey violated a non-disclosure agreement, according to Polygon. It could have been a lot worse. The jury also found Oculus was not guilty of the most serious allegations -- that the virtual reality company's founders had stolen trade secrets -- in particular, code that would help in the development of the company's Oculus Rift VR system. The lawsuit, brought by gaming company Zenimax, sought $4 billion in total damages. The lawsuit was first filed in May 2014, just months after Facebook acquired Oculus in a deal that at the time was reported to be worth $2 billion and signified the social network's entry into VR.
The new Samsung HMD Odyssey virtual reality headset will run on Microsoft's Mixed Reality platform. While compelling virtual and augmented reality content remains in short supply, there's no shortage of headsets flooding this still tepid market. On Tuesday, Samsung planned to take the wraps off a new high-end VR headset called the HMD Odyssey, which boasts built-in microphones, position sensors and AKG headphones. The company also claims to have the "highest resolution in the industry" thanks to dual AMOLED displays that are commonly found in smartphones. The $499 HMD Odyssey, which was to be revealed at Microsoft's Mixed Reality demo here, is available for pre-order Tuesday and will begin shipping in early November.
Facebook announced extended bereavement leave and paid family sick time as part of new benefits for employees. Sheryl Sandberg spoke about how her own experience losing her husband and how that makes this decision especially meaningful. SAN FRANCISCO -- Your chance to demo Facebook's Oculus Rift virtual reality goggle at a Best Buy store just got cut in half. Facebook is pulling its pop-up demo stations in 200 of its 500 Best Buy locations; Best Buy has around 1,400 stores nationwide. The social networking company, which bought Oculus in 2014 for $3 billion, said the move was out of a desire to focus on larger markets and not, as a report on Business Insider suggested, due to slow traffic.
With the launch of Facebook's Oculus Rift for business, the social networking behemoth added a big piece to its enterprise arsenal. Don't look now, but Facebook is following the lead of Amazon, Apple and Google as primarily consumer-focused tech players that are building a suite of business tools. When you analyze Facebook's moving business parts, there's no reason to dismiss the company's ambition to be a business technology player. Here's a look at Facebook's evolving business technology stack: Who am I to argue with a product that has landed big accounts like Wal-Mart? Yet, I'm not sold on @Workplace and frankly wonder if it'll wind up in the same enterprise dustbin as other collaboration platforms.