Making VR for everyone

By Mike Schroepfer
September 23, 2020

Making advanced technologies accessible to as many people as possible is at the heart of how we think about innovation at Facebook. Making virtual reality affordable and relevant to everyone is a huge part of that, and last week’s launch of Quest 2 shows how far we’ve come toward turning VR into a mass consumer product.

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Facebook has always been dedicated to building up the core technologies that enable people to connect, work, play and learn remotely. The events of 2020 are something few could have imagined back when we began this journey, but they’ve made our work so much more important and relevant — something we’ve all witnessed in the growing use of our products.

One big part of this technological progress has been the creation of the very best VR device money can buy, now available at a price that means more people will have access to it than ever before. It’s something I’m incredibly proud of.

An advance this significant is always the story of thousands of people and millions of hours of work, and there were hundreds of decisions made along the way that turned out to be extraordinarily important. Caitlin Kalinowski, who leads our VR hardware team that’s responsible for designing all VR products, recently spoke to me about how, within just 18 months of launching the original Quest, we managed to make something that’s not only much more affordable, but better in so many ways.

Caitlin embodies the very best traits of the technologists I’m lucky enough to work with at Facebook: she’s deeply optimistic about the future and the technologies that will get us there, and she’s brilliant enough to make them a reality. That combination, of optimism and talent, makes her a role model for all of us.

It’s worth noting here that there’s still nothing on the market that equals the original Quest. So making something that’s such a huge improvement is an enormous achievement all on its own. But making it available at $299 is something that we are particularly excited about, because it means the number of people experiencing VR will soon be much bigger.

We still have a lot of work to do on our journey to build the computing platform of the future. But Quest 2 is one step closer to that goal, and represents the best of what technology has to offer: providing more people with the opportunity to build human connection.