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Facebook Appoints New Leader for VR Program

The company Oculus went through a few speed bumps that begged the question who would take on the leadership role. Oculus VR, the virtual reality goggle maker, was purchased by Facebook for over $2 billion.

Recently Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook chief executive officer, announced that Hugo Barra who formerly worked as a former executive at Google and Xiaomi, a Chinese phone maker, will lead Facebook’s virtual reality conquest.

Barra is known for his aid in the growth of Google’s Android business. It wasn’t until 2013 that he left Google and went to Xiaomi, who at the time was trying to establish itself as a phone maker in China. However, this month it was reported that Barra left the company.

In the three years that Facebook has owned Oculus, its virtual reality goggles have triggered interest with consumers but sales haven’t exactly been ideal. In hopes to increase sales for the VR equipment, it’s estimated that Zuckerberg will invest $3 billion.

Facebook’s large investments in virtual reality could be its hopeful attempt to make the tech more successful than mobile. However, in most cases, virtual reality headsets are quite expensive. The Oculus Rift headset cost $599. Virtual reality tech also requires a powerful computer system.

Aside from being expensive, Oculus poses many more problems for Facebook. Facebook is being sued by ZeniMax Media who claims that Oculus stole their tech and claimed it as their own; a fact ZeniMax claims Facebook knew upon purchase. The lawsuit is estimated to cost the social media giant as much as $2 billion if it is found guilty.

No longer than a month ago, co-founder of Oculus, Brendan Iribe, stepped down to pursue work with a group concentrating on virtual reality on personal computers.

In a statement, Barra said this about joining Facebook, “The highest calling of an engineer is to make technology breakthroughs quickly and readily available to the widest possible spectrum of humanity. That will be my mission at Facebook.”

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