When you hear talk of a border wall, you typically picture an actual, physical construction. The Oculus co-founder and his startup Anduril Industries have been working on a virtual wall -- one complete with cameras, sensors and VR -- with the aim of scoring a US defense contract and providing border security at a fraction of the cost of a physical wall. Luckey discussed plans for this technology last year, but now it's being tested, both officially and unofficially, and it's catching the eye of US officials. Wired reports that Anduril has constructed a prototype of its Lattice system on a ranch in Texas and is also conducting a government-funded test of its technology outside of San Diego. "They said they could provide broader border security for a lower cost," Melissa Ho, managing director of Silicon Valley's Department of Homeland Security office, told Wired.
Just in case you were wondering what Palmer Luckey does with all that Facebook money, a The Daily Beast article reveals what he's been up to lately. The outlet says Luckey confirmed he is behind the Reddit pseudonym "NimbleRichMan," providing financial backing to an organization claiming it's proven that "shitposting is powerful and meme magic is real." The Reddit profile has been deleted, but the group's original announcement is archived here. Dubbed Nimble America, it's a pro-Trump organization spreading anti-Hillary Clinton memes, calling the Democratic candidate "corrupt, a warmonger, a freedom-stripper," claiming that people will only be offended because they hate Trump and can't stand to see successful people. Luckey's liaison with the organization is apparently none other than Milo Yiannopolis.
The whistle of a stiff and constant wind cuts through a silence that gives no hint of the hostilities, both physical and political, that animate these borderlands. Palmer Luckey--yes, that Palmer Luckey, the 25-year-old entrepreneur who founded the virtual reality company Oculus, sold it to Facebook, and then left Facebook in a haze of political controversy--hands me a Samsung Gear VR headset. Slipping it over my eyes, I am instantly immersed in a digital world that simulates the exact view I had just been enjoying in real life. In the virtual valley below is a glowing green square with text that reads PERSON 98%. Luckey directs me to tilt my head downward, toward the box, and suddenly an image pops up over the VR rendering.
Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Oculus, has revealed that he is working on a new startup that will develop virtual border wall technology. Luckey confirmed as much to The New York Times, which reported that he is in the early stages of building a platform that would automatically watch borders. The system would use a combination of infra-red sensors and LIDAR, the same light-detection gear found in most autonomous cars. The idea would be to use the technology to secure military installations, buildings and in place of a physical border wall. In a statement given to the Times, Luckey lamented the slow pace of innovation in the defense industry, despite the sums of money spent on it.
Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Oculus VR and creator of the Rift headset, is no longer with the company. Following the news that he'd donated $10,000 to a group spreading pro-Trump memes, the 24-year old had increasingly shied away from the public eye. That even went as far as skipping last October's Oculus Connect event so as not to be a "distraction" to the news coming out of the conference. "Palmer will be dearly missed. Palmer's legacy extends far beyond Oculus.