Is the Oculus Rift doomed?

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Klumpen

    Klumpen Run away! Run away!

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    I know the production scale would have been a problem, but would it really have been so difficult to find investors for this rather than just selling the whole company?

    I wonder...
     
  2. doragasu

    doragasu Member

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    Ermmmmmm... No. Facebook's core business is selling user data. For them it would be stupid not using OR to mine and sell more user data.

    Neither OculusVR's nor Valve's, etc. core business is (was for OVR) selling user data. For them it would be stupid using OR to mine and sell user data.
     
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  3. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    This gets said a lot but I haven't actually seen anyone back it up. I've done some searches and I can't find a single instance of anyone actually proving that Facebook has literally sold their data.The bulk of their money is made through targeted advertising, which they do use your data for, but on a VR headset would be of little use. It would be stupid of them to alienate their users before they've gotten a chance to spread to the masses.

    No one is saying that they won't. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they will use their influence to create an interactive social experience of some kind heavily branded with Facebook which you will be tempted to install and use, but there is an equally opposite amount of doubt that they will force login, data mining, and advertising on unrelated game developers.
     
  4. _jr_

    _jr_ Advanced Member

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    I agree that 'selling' is the wrong word, but IMO that doesn't invalidate the point: facebook's core business is drastically different from the one for OR (at least as perceived by its backers). This will definitely result in a final product that is different from one driven mostly by backer community input. Whether this is bad is difficult to say, because no final product does exist and it's not even clear such a community driven product is possible.
     
  5. Gring

    Gring Still Fresh

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    Attempts for VR goggles have been around for two decades now. Oculus Rift is just an assembly of existing hardware that finally became fast enough.

    What makes Oculus valuable is not some patents since there's nothing special, it's value is in the fine tuning of the software.

    That tuning is not something that is easy to protect, because it may simply inspire the competition without them having to do an exact copy.

    That's why there are going to be competitors quite soon, and why I think Facebook is going to close its software.

    There are many hardware improvements to be made though...

    Some french guys made a prototype with two screens that allow a large field of view (210°) (peripherical image could be low res, since you cannot look at it directly and the side of your eyes is low res).

    There could be eye tracking to know where you are watching (useful for local improved rendering of details, and pointing with your eyes. Could also be used in an evil way)
     
  6. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    Exactly which software are you referring to?
     
  7. Asmo

    Asmo Advanced Member

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  8. Granitehead

    Granitehead Advanced Member

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    Probably that SDK which Facebook can't close? And if they did we would know instantly and could start developing on the last open version?
    I guess it's not true free software in the sense that they can't distribute a closed version based on it? Because they are the sole license owners and don't have to have the agreement of dozens of independent devs to use it under an other license?

    That means I wouldn't buy a dev kit because I can't know whether they are going to close future versions of the SDK, but once the consumer release is ready, if the SDK is still open, I guess you'll get enough functionality which they can't remove anymore to make it good.
     
  9. LEOXD

    LEOXD Member

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    Both Facebook and Valve state in their privacy guidelines that they may share personal information with third parties. 

    While it is true that mining data isn't Valves main business, they do benefit from it ("what do the users want?").

    Also, Facebook doesn't sell data, they use it for target-based ads. This may be a synonym for some people, but for me, "selling data" is if I'd ask Facebook "hey Facebook, give me all the data about [name]" – "that will be 2500€"
     
  10. Rockthesmurf

    Rockthesmurf Advanced Member

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    @doragasu I don't have a clue how you are privy to know whether Valve sell user data or not. Sounds like you are making huge speculations...
     
  11. Yoyobuae

    Yoyobuae Very Active Member

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    The problem is not if they are selling people's data or not. The problem is that they can potentially do so.

    The decision  of whether the data is sold or not is no longer up to person, but up to the companies which now hold their data. People have given up control of their info for the sake of convenience.
     
  12. Fzero

    Fzero Advanced Member

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    ...little by the by comment, kind of related to Steven's comment there.

    http://tosdr.org

    Also shows under the Valve/Steam T&C's that you can request removal of personal data, if you worried about that type of thing...

     
  13. Gring

    Gring Still Fresh

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    They can keep an open SDK which communicates with closed drivers for the production version. These closed drivers could have annoying features that you can't workaround with the sdk.
     
  14. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    And alienate a huge portion of their market? One of the selling features of the OR is that it is based on HDMI and USB HID: it is literally compatible with anything with a USB port and HDMI out. The SDK doesn't do any communication: it applies that fish eye lens effect thing and reads the input data to know where it is positioned. Even if the SDK were to change it'd be reasonably simple to redo the code under a fully open source license.Unless they change the hardware so it requires some kind of authentication from a binary blob, in which case they'd be limiting the system to specific hardware, removing one of the key selling features. If they want as many people to buy an OR as possible (and they do, it is in their best interest to sell as many as they can) they don't want that limit.

    Seriously, they may change things, and if they do then the OR will fail. I don't believe Facebook to be that stupid. They want the OR to succeed. They know there's a huge market for it and that there are several competitors close on their tail, if they let up for even a second and give the competition an opening they will lose and they know it.

    On the other hand, I could be giving them too much credit and maybe they really are that stupid in which case they'll make changes, pay several million in settlements, lose any shred of respect that may have existed, and someone else will swoop in and deliver what the OR had been promising, taking the crown of VR king. I'd also be ok with that. One way or another, everything that the OR was meant to be will happen: it's been started and it can't be stopped. Either Facebook does it right or they're stupid and someone else does.
     
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  15. Gring

    Gring Still Fresh

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    The protocol sent over USB may be closed. If they want to collect personal data it should be.

    People don't care about the fact that products are open, otherwise Apple wouldn't be so successful. If OR comes at 99€/$ while the open competitors are at the real cost  (300€/$), the general public will buy the OR.
     
  16. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    And then it will no longer be possible to run on everything as it can now, developers will not get the same levels of support, competitors will see the opening in the market and something will come along that actually delivers on what OR promised. If they close it off in any way they will lose, and something else that creates some kind of open standard will become king. I explained this scenario already, I don't believe Facebook to be that stupid. Selling at a loss would be stupid.
    There are many ways to collect data without directly sucking it down. The Facebook website doesn't scour for information, people supply it willingly. Make a worthwhile product and people will gladly hand over heaps of data, they know this. They don't need to change anything about the OR, they just need to make it good and then attach something optional to it that people want to use and the data will come pouring in.There is little doubt in my mind that they'll keep it effectively the same as it is. They'll almost certainly add a bunch of features that ALLOW for the collection of information but it would depend on the developers whether they make use of those features. Facebook will produce it's own "game" of some kind, some sort of social experience that will link back to Facebook and people will be enticed to use it, and it is from that that they will get the information for targeted ads they want.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2014
  17. ssokolow

    ssokolow Member

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    People have reverse-engineered much more difficult things than a head-tracking stream. I'm honestly not too worried about that part.
     
  18. doragasu

    doragasu Member

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     I do not know whether Valve sells or doesn't sell data. I just say it would be stupid for them to do it. Just look at the huge controversy that arised when they were found to, in some rare cases, have a peek at the browser history to find cheaters. Imagine somebody would find they mine data from your gameplay to sell information/target ads to third parties. A lot of people would not mind at all, but also a whole lot of people would be extremely pissed...

    Also FB doesn't only use your data for targeted ads, it also provides (or at least it did, I don't know if this has changed as of today) the unique Facebook ID to 3rd parties, that can be interpreted as giving them your private data (as they can use it to get it).

    Also most people overlook the big problems targeted ads can cause. They might look inoffensive, but can be pretty dangerous e.g. at your workplace.
     
  19. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    Steam is already using targeted ads, it's just a lot more subtle because Steam is a retailer and therefore a lot more relevant to see ads.

    They use user data to help select games for Steam sales, they notify you when one of your wishlist is on sale, they recommend things based on play history. Valve has your data from the games you've purchased and played and they're using it to try and sell you more games, you just don't notice because you were already there buying games anyway.

    Honestly, thinking about it now, I'd be a lot more worried about abuse of data if Valve had purchased OR than Facebook: they'd have a lot more genuinely relevant data to try and sell me more games. What's Facebook going to do with data collected via OR? There's nothing really useful to anyone other than game developers and retailers.
     
  20. doragasu

    doragasu Member

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    @WizardStan: I don't know if your previous post was intended to be ironic or not, as I'm not an english native speaker, sometimes it's difficult for me noticing these kind of things.

    Anyway, there is a HUGE difference between notifying me when one of the games I added to my wishlist is on sale, or showing me recommendations based on my library and previous searches... and showing me targeted ads based even on things like sexual or political preferences, or even religious beliefs... or letting third parties access to my private information. Things like these are already happening, as you should know if you read the links I wrote in my previous post.
     
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