Zuckerberg’s live Oculus Rift unboxing is informative, supremely awkward

oculus acquires infiniled produce power efficient displays zuckerberg
The Oculus Rift VR headset began shipping to consumers earlier this week. Now that the first batch of gamers have had a chance to try out the headset — and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided it was time to discuss the product in detail.

In a live stream posted on the social network, Zuckerberg took viewers on a short tour of the Oculus office, housed in building 18 of Facebook’s massive Menlo Park headquarters.

The 31-year-old entrepreneur has boasted of the capabilities of both live video and VR in the past, describing them as the future of the social media giant. Unfortunately, being on screen doesn’t come naturally to the Facebook chief, and in a live context that can be disastrous. Consequently, the video, which sees Zuckerberg unbox an Oculus alongside the VR company’s co-founder Brendan Iribe and Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, is full of awkward exchanges.

This week, we started shipping Oculus Rift. I’ll be showing you what’s inside the box and taking some of your questions.

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The entire venture gets off to a rocky start when Zuckerberg can’t access the Oculus vision lab, where the company programs the AI that goes into its tech. Giving up after a few tries at the locked door, he proceeds to the open-plan Oculus office, greeting passing workers with friendly hellos. Aside from the initial hitch, there’s no denying that once the broadcast gets underway, it provides a fresh and exciting perspective into the workings of a multimedia corporation. Later in the 22-minute broadcast, Zuckerberg takes questions from his live global audience, exemplifying the communicative power of the medium.

Related: Oculus Rift virtual reality headset bundles here

The main attraction, of course, is the Rift itself. For those that have yet to watch an unboxing video of the product, this is a good place to start. With Irbe’s help, Zuckerberg lays out the individual parts housed inside the product’s sleek, all-black container, including the headset, sensor, remote, and Xbox One controller.

Next, Zuckerberg discusses the Oculus Touch controller, unboxing one that has been lurking just outside of the frame. “This hasn’t shipped yet,” he explains of the device. “It’s coming a bit later this year.” Zuckerberg then tries on the Touch, which fits around his hands, and (unlike the Xbox One controller) has built-in sensors, allowing for interactive gameplay. “It’s a natural extension of yourself, it really brings your hands into the game,” explains Iribe.

Like the rest of the video, most of these exchanges between Zuckerberg and Iribe come across as unscripted at best, and uncomfortable at worst. This could be due to the un-staged nature of the livestream, although it’s hard to believe that this was a completely spontaneous event.

At the halfway mark, Zuckerberg begins to respond to the questions that have been pouring in from the live audience. One of the most interesting queries probed Facebook’sown interest in VR, in particular its relation to social networking. In response, Zuckerberg claims that the immersive, “trippy” nature of VR allows you to create social experiences that are unlike those created via traditional online video games.

“We’re building a lot of different teams to work on different social VR experiences,” states the Facebook CEO. “We’re the company…that builds the best social experiences.” The social experiences you’ll have in VR will be as memorable as real-world interactions, they claim. “It feels like a physical memory, like you’re they’re in physical space, and not on a screen” explains Iribe.

Overall, Zuckerberg’s livestream has now been viewed 3.5 million times. To learn more about the Oculus Rift, check out our reviews summary of the VR headset.

Photography

Camera records real-life scenes to design virtual worlds using a single device

Creating virtual reality worlds may get a bit easier in 2019 -- the Axis is a camera module that records a 180-degree depth map, allowing designers to reconstruct the scene for virtual or augmented reality.
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Deals

From Samsung to HP, here are the best cheap Chromebook deals right now

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- with most…
Deals

Start your home gym and save over $200 with this fitness machine

January is the trial month of sticking to your fitness goals and a home gym can help. If 2019 is the year you start investing in your health goals Walmart is discounting this professional workout machine so you can exercise from the comfort…
Gaming

HTC brings two new headsets, a VR browser, and ‘Netflix for VR’ to CES 2019

HTC Vive made several new announcements to CES 2019, including two new headsets, a new subscription service, and a new user interface that completely transforms how applications are launched.
Product Review

HTC puts eye-tracking tech in Vive Pro Eye to make next-gen VR hands-free

With the announcement of integrated eye tracking for the Vive Pro Eye, hands-free VR, less demanding high-quality experiences, and intuitive software, are all on the table.
Gaming

The Vive Pro Eye uses Tobii eye-tracking technology to make VR more lifelike

HTC revealed the Vive Pro Eye with eye-tracking support at its CES 2019 press conference on January 7. We now know that Tobii will be the company responsible for integrating the technology.
Computing

Oculus’ Quest is the headset that will make me (and you) a VR believer

Without excessive wires or complicated setup, and a price point that makes sense for tech that just isn't there yet, Oculus' upcoming standalone headset, the Quest, could bring VR mainstream.
Gaming

Dive headfirst into the best experiences available now on the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift brought back virtual reality and put a modern twist to it. Grab your Touch Controllers, put on your VR headset, and jump into the fun with some of the best Oculus Rift games available now.
Gaming

The best VR headsets at CES 2019 could bring the technology to the mainstream

While there weren't a ton of new VR headset on display at CES 2019, the ones we saw led us to believe that VR could have a real moment soon, both from a gaming and business standpoint.
Gaming

These are the coolest virtual and augmented reality gadgets from CES 2019

CES 2019 had plenty of VR and AR gadgets on display, including headsets that completely change how you experience virtual reality, and some that don't even require a PC or a phone to run.
Gaming

These shoes let me stroll through ‘Skyrim,’ and I desperately want to go back

After being funded in just two hours on Kickstarter back in October 2018, Cybershoes has earned itself a place among the coolest VR walking and running tech. At CES 2019, we got to try them out and they live up to the hype.
Gaming

The Teslasuit could turn Black Mirror’s terrifying ‘Playtest’ into a reality

We spoke with Teslasuit co-founder Dimitri Mikhalchuk about VR gaming at CES 2019. With all its features, the future of the Teslasuit and virtual reality look bright. And it also sounds a bit like a Black Mirror episode.