Oculus Connect conference gets a new name: Facebook Connect

Facebook’s annual conference for alternate and virtual reality projects has gotten a new name, and it’ll be going virtual this year.

Facebook Connect — formerly known as the Oculus Connect conference — will be held on September 16. Like many tech conferences during the age of coronavirus, the conference will be entirely digital as well as free to attend.

The event will feature keynote addresses from “Facebook leaders and industry visionaries” and offer “immersive developer sessions” for attendees, the company said in its announcement on Tuesday.

“Over the years, Connect has grown to include so much more than Oculus, with research updates and product news from Spark AR to Portal from Facebook,” the social media giant said in a blog post. The conference has been held for the past six years.

Facebook’s AR/VR research division will also drop “Oculus” from its name and will be rebranded as Facebook Reality Labs (FRL). The new name serves to “encompass the expansive work being done at Facebook as we build the next computing platform to help people feel more present with each other, even when we’re apart.”

Facebook said FRL will continue developing hardware and software, with a commitment to users’ privacy.

The rebranding — which Facebook said would provide clarity — is the latest move to integrate Oculus more seamlessly into Facebook’s overall ecosystem.

Earlier this month, Oculus made a controversial announcement that new users would need to sign in with a Facebook account to use the device. Existing users will also need to sign in by January 2023.

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