oculus-for-business

maria-fernandez-guajardoFacebook announced new information about Oculus for Business at their F8 Developer conference last week, and I had a chance to sit down with Facebook’s Head of AR/VR Maria Fernandez Guajardo to go over some of the the details that have been released so far. The full launch of Oculus for Business should be sometime in the Fall, likely around Oculus Connect 6 in September or October.

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The launch of the Oculus Quest was one of the primary catalysts for expanding their technical support services, since most of the Rift tech support would come from managing a VR-ready PC. But the self-contained mobile units of the Oculus Quest and Oculus Go require their own set of very specific technical support needs that could benefit from a focused effort from Facebook. Oculus for Business originally launched in 2017, but Facebook the range of offerings have not gone much beyond handling logistics fro bulk sales as Facebook has not historically prioritized the needs of the enterprise AR/VR market for most of the past six years.

But with the launch of the Quest and after selling 17,000 Oculus Go units to Wal-Mart as a part of an Oculus for Business pilot program, then Facebook has starting to develop specific software to deploy applications at scale. They’re going to provide specific enterprise technical support services for a price of $999 per 128GG Oculus Quest Headset (retail is $499) and $599 for the 65GB Oculus Go (retail is $249) plus $180 per headset after the first year.

I received a range of reactions from developers with on one side expressing relief that Facebook is going to help own some of the burden of providing technical support to enterprises who adopting these emerging immersive technologies. But I also heard some hesitation at the price point that’s double the retail price of a Quest, which will make it harder for some smaller companies to make the leap into what may be seen as speculative virtual reality solutions.

But there has been a lot of impressive statistics for the value that virtual reality can bring to businesses, and Guajardo shares some of her favorite stats and also cited the “Getting Things Done Virtually: The Value of VR for Enterprise” session at F8 as having a lot more details for the value of VR.

Here are some stats from Accenture on the value of Enterprise VR:

Here’s a video providing more information about Oculus for Business

Here’s some of my live coverage of Oculus for Business

Overall, I’m happy that Facebook is taking the Enterprise VR/AR market seriously, and not just focusing on gaming and the consumer market. For most VR developers that I’ve talked to, they have a diversified range of work and clients that spans across gaming & entertainment, advertising, training, architectural projects, and other enterprise or medical applications. So it’s nice to see that there will be more support and awareness of the full range of VR applications coming to Facebook’s developer conferences at both F8 and Oculus Connect 6 coming later this Fall.

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