Months after Facebook Inc. (FB) closed its purchase of virtual reality startup Oculus VR Inc., there is little tangible evidence, at least to outsiders, of what exactly Mark Zuckerberg got for $2 billion.
While Oculus sells a developers kit with a barebones version of its Rift virtual reality headset, the company has no commercially available product.
During a conference Thursday at the Paley Center for Media Summit, Facebook vice president of partnerships Dan Rose explained that the deal's value becomes clearer once someone tries on the headset.
"Once you have done that, it's not too hard to explain," he said. "It really is like looking into the future."
Oculus will debut a consumer product in the coming weeks, said Rose and Oculus head of worldwide studios Jason Rubin.
Samsung Group manufactured the hardware for the product, while Oculus developed the software. Samsung's Note 4 mobile phone clips into the headset, and serves as the screen and the engine for the virtual reality experience.
The barebones verstion of the headset will run "a few hundred dollars" but will not convey the full sense of "presence" that Oculus' higher-end Rift headset will deliver, Rubin said. Oculus will develop the hardware and the software for the more immersive headset, which will work with Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) Macs and with PCs.
The Samsung headsets, demonstrated at the Paley Center, give the sense of stepping inside a reticulated image. The footage replicated the experience of floating in space above the Earth, sitting with a family in a Mongolian yurt and standing on stage during a performance by Cirque du Soleil.