The dramatic, larger-than-life true story behind the founding of Oculus and its quest for virtual reality, by the bestselling author of Console Wars. From iconic books like Neuromancer to blockbuster films like The Matrix, virtual reality has long been hailed as the ultimate technology. But outside of a few research labs and military training facilities, this tantalizing vision of the future was nothing but science fiction. Until 2012, when Oculus founder Palmer Luckey—then just a rebellious teenage dreamer living alone in a camper trailer—invents a device that has the potential to change everything.
With the help of a videogame legend, a serial entrepreneur and many other colorful characters, Luckey’s scrappy startup kickstarts a revolution and sets out to bring VR to the masses. As with most underdog stories, things don’t quite go according to plan. But what happens next turns out to be the ultimate entrepreneurial journey: a tale of battles won and lost, lessons learned and neverending twists and turns—including an unlikely multi-billion-dollar acquisition by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, which shakes up the landscape in Silicon Valley and gives Oculus the chance to forever change our reality.
Drawing on over a hundred interviews with the key players driving this revolution, The History of the Future weaves together a rich, cinematic narrative that captures the breakthroughs, breakdowns and human drama of trying to change the world. The result is a super accessible and supremely entertaining look at the birth of a game-changing new industry.
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Essential Reading for VR Enthusiasts
This was a looking glass into the evolution of Oculus that I yearned to know, presented in an easy-to-digest format. Being an outside observer to all these events, even at the MTBS3D forum, the points I personally recall felt surreal as the background filled in—like seeing that your most cherished painting was a small glimpse of a breathtaking original.
In a way, Palmer Luckey represented our dreams at reviving VR, and his persona set a dramatic contrast to his corporate counterparts. His attitude was infectious and, for a while, he was the herald of a true revolution. I am glad that the author presented the truth as it was seen by all sides, as I never was privy to the internal conflict (like most everyone).
This book provides insight to current events as they unfold, a compass that I find invaluable in a storm of fandom and conjecture.