Goodbye, Oculus Connect — howdy, Facebook Connect. Following final week’s controversial announcement that Facebook accounts might be required to make use of all future Oculus digital actuality units, the social media large immediately rebranded its annual VR confab to remove the Oculus identify and introduced a date for the now solely on-line occasion: September 16.
Free for all attendees, Facebook Connect will give attention to the mixed work of Facebook’s AR and VR groups, which going ahead will all be underneath the Facebook Reality Labs aegis. That means Oculus, Spark AR, Portal, and different AR/VR initiatives will function underneath that identify, whereas the previous Facebook Reality Labs/Oculus Research group led by Michael Abrash might be generally known as FRL Research.
Facebook says “Oculus and our other product brand names aren’t going anywhere,” although it’s laborious to not see the transfer within the context of the two-year sunsetting plan for Oculus accounts, the deeper integration of Facebook options into Oculus merchandise, and the corporate’s latest company rebranding and streamlining efforts. Like it or not, Facebook’s identify and company affect are going to continue to grow inside the AR and VR areas, and as its researchers proceed constructing applied sciences that may “deliver on the promise of AR glasses,” Facebook goes to ensure it will get credit score for its good deeds — maybe to stability the continuing criticisms leveled at its social community.
Now in its seventh 12 months, the renamed Facebook Connect occasion guarantees to incorporate a mix of “keynotes from Facebook leaders and industry visionaries,” in addition to immersive developer classes overlaying the most recent improvements in AR and VR. A streamlined model of the mid-range Oculus Quest headset has been rumored to be within the pipeline for launch this 12 months, and the corporate at all times reveals off its newest high-end improvement efforts, which ought to make this 12 months’s Connect properly price tuning into in mid-September.