Virtual reality is coming to California Libraries, thanks to a pilot program started by Facebook’s Oculus.
Purchasing a virtual reality headset, which digitally transports the wearer to any imaginable destination, including inside the human body, anywhere in outer space, or under the ocean can be very expensive for low income families. In order to bridge the digital divide, Facebook’s Oculus is teaming up with the California State Library to provide 100 sets of Rift headsets, touch controllers, and computers to 90 libraries throughout California.
“By having access, it takes away the mystery of what it is and inspires,” said Cindy Ball, Oculus’ education program manager. “No matter how many videos or news reports you’ve seen about VR, once you put on that headset for the first time, that’s when you really get it.”
A San Mateo nonprofit organization, the Califa Group, will oversee the program.
With the technology available in libraries, families can try virtual reality without spending the money for a headset. Oculus will start the program over the next three months, during which time they hope to identify best practices through the end of the first year