This week at AWE 2024, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey spoke briefly about a new XR headset he’s developing. Though the headset would see Luckey returning to the XR space, this one is being built with military, rather than consumer, uses in mind.

Luckey confirmed earlier this month that he intends to build a new XR headset, but revealed almost no details about the project.

During a panel discussion today at AWE 2024, he offered just a bit more, saying the headset’s design is “being driven by military requirements, but also going to be used for non-military stuff. It’s really cool, it’s really something.”

Though Luckey was on stage with Bigscreen Beyond creator Darshan Shankar, the two didn’t indicate any joint work together.

Luckey said he’s announcing the project now because trying to keep it secret means fewer opportunities to find key collaborators and suppliers.

His mention of the upcoming headset’s military requirements suggests the project originates from within his current company, Anduril, a tech-focused military contractor.

Although “military requirements” can often be seen as synonymous with “incredibly expensive,” Luckey has grown Anduril into a multi-billion dollar company on the premise that major military contractors charge too much and deliver more slowly than they ought too.

Considering the headset’s angle, it seems unlikely that a military-focused headset would plug into any consumer XR ecosystems like Horizon OS or SteamVR. That leaves it up in the air whether the headset will be built on a proprietary platform—and how it will support the “non-military stuff” that Luckey mentioned. Likely that “stuff” refers to enterprise-focused use-cases like training, education, and design.

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Luckey founded Oculus in 2012, the company whose Rift headset was the spark that rebooted the modern era of VR. As a rapidly growing startup, Oculus attracted the attention of Meta (at the time Facebook), which acquired the company in 2014 for more than $2 billion. Luckey continued in VR under Meta’s roof for several years but was eventually pushed out of the company due to backlash to his politics. After leaving Meta, Luckey went on to found Anduril, a tech-defense startup which itself went on to achieve a multi-billion valuation. Though Luckey hasn’t been active in XR since leaving Meta, he’s continued to be looked to as a thought leader in the space.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • ViRGiN

    AWE show floor is a complete joke. If you pay for the stand, you can advertise anything! Look up SISU VR. It's either a complete scam, or the woman is borderline and mentally ill.

    • guest

      Why would anyone be against a company that tries to prevent workplace violence. Is this offensive to gamers that like to shoot anything that moves? Maybe that's why you hate cute little VR Chat furries so much. It sounds like you have been playing the Hero Wars game that depicts all women as sadistic!

      • ViRGiN

        Is that you Jocelyn Tan?

      • Only trolls hide comments

        Even though I blocked them and can't see their comments, I know exactly who you're talking to.

        Don't interact with Road to VR's resident troll. Just block.

        • Troll Brothers

          If you block trolls under their bridge than you should get what you deserve!

  • Nice!!
    [ ] ^ )

  • Only trolls hide comments

    Palmer Luckey bankrolled a pro-Trump disinformation campaign whose stated goal was to bring so-called "shitposting" into the real world. Palmer Luckey bares more responsibility than most for the deplorable state of public discourse.

    Palmer Luckey is bad for XR, bad for democracy, and bad for America and the world. Road to VR would be wise to stop giving this fascist oxygen. Platforming him reflects poorly on the character of the editors. He hasn't even been relevant to the mission of this site in years.

    • ZeePee

      Tyrannical left extremist wants to cancel and silence a man because he has opposing political views, calling the man they are trying to silence, a fascist, whilst being the real tyranny themselves.

      Oh the irony and hypocrisy.

      Always so dramatic and hyperbolic. You have no idea what fascism is. Leave the editors alone.

      • Anonymous

        I don't like Palmer and I don't necessarily agree with all of your statement, but it is true that the left extremists indeed are the ones pulling verbal tyranny nowadays.

        Any slight disagreement with them will be painted as facist, far-right immediately. Worse, they seem to have unlimited funds (possibly supplied from CCP to keep free world divided) and are essentially everywhere and relentless, especially entertainment.

        • shadow9d9

          The only one here who defined anyone has a "left/right" or "extremist" is you and who you quoted. Projection at its finest.

        • Jeff

          Anyone actively supporting Trump is actually far right and facist, though. Someone who makes it their mission to spread misinformation and promote facism is exactly who we are talking about here. Not all conservatives are facists, but Trump supporters are.

        • Only trolls hide comments

          What the heck is "verbal tyranny"? Is that what you call it when you get push-back for saying or doing something bigoted or hateful?

          Fascist is as fascist does. If you don't like the label, then don't act like one. It's telling that you have your panties in such a bunch over this.

          Keep telling yourself that opposition to right-wing ideology is a Chinese psy-ops if it helps you cope. But the bottom line is, the only people who like fascists are other fascists, and the overwhelming majority of people are not fascists and want nothing to do with them.

        • Charles U. Farley

          That's such bullshit.

      • shadow9d9

        You are projecting your drama and hyperbole. Not everyone you disagree with is automatically an extreme opposite end of the spectrum.

        Do you dispute the claimed fact of Luckey bankrolling a disinformation campaign?

        • Only trolls hide comments

          Every accusation is a confession with these people. Of course they can't deny Luckey bankrolled a political disinformation campaign to the tune of millions of dollars. They probably cheered for it and participated in the shitposting.

          • Sven Viking

            His funding to Nimble America was $10,000 total. Where are you getting millions of dollars from?

          • Only trolls hide comments

            Luckey has funded numerous right-wing causes and candidates besides Nimble, an organization for which he was the VP. Posts don’t show if I embed a link, but OpenSecrets is a good place to start if you would like to see the truth for yourself.

            Regardless, the amount is irrelevant. Funding fascist politicians & deceptive political propaganda in any dollar amount is deplorable and disqualifying. Fascism is just not an acceptable ideology, period. There’s no tolerating or finding common ground with people who wish to subjugate or erase you. Fascism has been horrible for everyone, even the fascists themselves, whenever it’s reared it’s ugly head. I don’t want to live in a fascist society, do you? Well there’s a global fascist movement that’s gaining momentum, and it needs to be resisted.

          • Sven Viking

            By “bankrolled a political disinformation campaign to the tune of millions of dollars” I took you to be referring to something more specific than general political donations.

          • Only trolls hide comments

            Do you, or do you not want to live in a fascist society?

          • Sven Viking

            I don’t, but you’re using this to distract from the fact that you’ve been engaged in spreading disinformation. Even if the difference is trivial from your perspective, there’s no harm in correcting your information—it doesn’t meant you can’t still be angry about him making political donations, or angry about the $10K “too big to jail” billboard.

          • Only trolls hide comments

            If you don’t want fascism, then why are you defending a fascist? I don’t buy for a second that you’re leveling these criticisms for the sake of accuracy. You’re just looking for a gotcha so you don’t have to address the fact that Palmer Luckey is a supporter of fascism. You seem entirely too invested to not be a fanboi. You now believe stupid and hateful things because you followed him. You need to pick better heroes, kid. And un-hide your comment history, troll. Or are you embarrassed by your past remarks? Why not come out of the closet.

            Militancy in opposition to fascism is no vice.

          • Sven Viking

            Why do you think arguing the truth will weaken your argument? It may strengthen it.

          • Charles U. Farley

            You need to update your info.

      • Only trolls hide comments

        I call Luckey a fascist because he publicly and unabashedly supports fascism.

        Trump is a fascist. MAGA is a fascist movement. Gamergate was a fascist scheme to indoctrinate you men with far-right ideology. Project 2025 is a fascist plan to end democracy in America. Luckey has supported these to the tune of millions of dollars. That makes him a fascist and you one too, if you agree with him.

        Quit playing the victim, and at least have the courage of your convictions. "I know you are, but what am I" wasn't even a valid argument in grade school.

      • Octogod

        Blue liners get angry when the sunlight of consequences are pointed in their direction.

        "OH NO WAIT NOT LIKE THAT – TYRANNY!"

      • Charles U. Farley

        It's called "consequences for actions" — you right wingers have ZERO clue how that works, cause you've been living your entitled rich white man lives for so long. We're not coming for your guns, but we are gunning for your lies and crimes.

  • Marcos Blando

    such a shame a nerd become defense contractor
    shame on u palmer
    u probably lost ur soul behind money

    • Roger Anthony Essig

      Defending is soul enriching.

    • ZeePee

      Someone has to do it.

      You think the the country is just going to manifest the tools required to defend itself against threats out of thin air?

      We need people innovating like this, for your protection.

      • Only trolls hide comments

        Why do people like you always treat violence like an inevitability? It's like you crave political violence, or something.

        • Jistuce

          Because history has shown us that it is, and it is better to be prepared than not.

          • Charles U. Farley

            That's the bullshit they feed you, and you just keep shoveling it in.

          • Jistuce

            You’re entitled to your opinion, but it aligns poorly with fact.

    • Anonymous

      I don't like him but I fail to see why the hate going to Defense Contractor.

      VR/MR is no doubt a strategic technology and the free world needs all the advantages to prepare for an upcoming war against Communist China and all other authoritarian countries if they band together. It is now evident co-existence is impossible between democracy and authoritarian / totalitarian as the latter will always want to cause harm. These regimes must all be eliminated for humanity to advance as a whole.

      • shadow9d9

        China hasn't been communist for a long time, and the west isn't democratic.

        • Anonymous

          Lamo China just penalized, arrested, or simply forcibly take a bunch fines from domestic and foreign companies, and that is not communist?

          You seem to be stuck in the past two decades when China felt like it would open up and democratize.

          • Only trolls hide comments

            China isn't communist because it's a fascist, totalitarian state that rules through force or threat of force. It's really not that complicated.

      • Only trolls hide comments

        I don't dislike him because he's a defense contractor. I dislike him because he funded a pro-Trump disinformation campaign that has resulted in lasting damage to political discourse and our form of representative government.

        • Sven Viking

          The disinformation campaign he funded was a single meme billboard. A disinformation campaign against him added a lot of details which have since been quietly removed from most stories.

          • Only trolls hide comments

            And just who is responsible for this disinformation campaign against Luckey. Let’s see the evidence. Don’t even bother answering if it’s some conspiracy theory nonsense you heard on Infowars, or the like.

          • Sven Viking

            It was just a game of Chinese whispers where the original, mostly-accurate TheBeast article used a sensationalist headline (“Palmer Luckey: The Facebook Near-Billionaire Secretly Funding Trump’s Meme Machine”) and made side mention of offensive memes and disinformation existing on Reddit and elsewhere that it never claimed were directly related to Luckey or Nimble America. Other sites repeating the story conflated the two either due to misreading or because it made for a better story.

            Posting links here gets you stuck in an eternal moderation queue but you can find more by searching Google — also if you try to look for the old news stories claiming more than the billboard, as mentioned the big ones have largely been taken down or edited to no longer make larger claims.

          • Only trolls hide comments

            Oooh. A sensationalist headline and associating Luckey with a reddit sub he was the most infamous member of. So much conspiracy! Palmer Luckey is to r/TheDonald as RoaringKitty is to r/WallStreetBets. There was never anything untoward about associating that thankfully now defunct sub with its most prominent leader. So do you, or do you not want to live in a fascist society?

          • Sven Viking

            I want to live in a society where people care about whether they’re speaking the truth or not. Improving your information wouldn’t mean you couldn’t still hate him—it might even provide a more solid justification?

          • Only trolls hide comments

            And I want to live in a society where people argue in good faith and don’t hide their true political alignment. I’m looking at you, kid.

          • Sven Viking

            I hope you can one day achieve your goal.

      • Charles U. Farley

        Because some of us have this thing called a "conscience" which means we really don't like war and think those who wage it or profit from it are fucking evil.

    • Only trolls hide comments

      I think Luckey was always like this. He just acquired enough wealth that he doesn't feel like he has to hide it anymore. His toxic personality and toxic politics got him forced out at Meta, after all.

      I'm grateful to Palmer Luckey for being the one who finally brought VR to the masses, I really am. As someone who made DIY VR kits out of Sony Watchmans and Nintendo Power Gloves in the 1990s, he made my dreams come true.

      But he is a horrible person, and no longer even relevant to the XR enthusiast community. He's just a shit-poster looking for attention now. Time to move on.

      • Jistuce

        "Toxic politics got him forced out at Meta" is an interesting way to spin a company firing someone because they voted for the wrong cartoon animal. I remain horrified that in he 21st century one of the largest companies in America can fire someone for their political alignment and it is considered okay.

        Also conveniently omits the part where they told him they'd fire him if he didn't publicly endorse Mrs. Clinton. Which he did, and then they fired him anyways.

        • Charles U. Farley

          Nice to see disinformation still around — okay chucklehead, Luckey did NOT get fired for any type of political reasons — he was fired because of shady business practices that he engaged in that ended up costing Meta $500M in a lawsuit. Maybe stop with the political lies and focus on facts?

          • Jistuce

            I know you don’t want to believe that Facebook would fire someone for their politics. The idea that one of the most powerful and influential companies in the world would operate like that is genuinely horrifying. I don’t want to believe it either.
            But people who were there at the time, and Facebook’s own internal documents, make it very clear that yes, he was fired for his politics. The evidence doesn’t so much point towards that as it does shout it at the top of its lungs.

            (I also think the ZeniMax lawsuit was less about shady business practices and more about ZeniMax believing that the purchase of iD meant they owned everything John Carmack would ever touch. But that’s neither here nor there.)

        • Only trolls hide comments

          Fascism and all ideologies that endorse the use of coercion and force to subjugate the people are just not acceptable, and those that endorse such ideologies should be chased from the public sphere by decent people.

          • Jistuce

            So you’re saying that coercion and force should not be used to subjugate people, except for the people you don’t like? And if you don’t like them, it is okay to use expressly illegal levels of force?

          • Only trolls hide comments

            Don’t try and put words in my mouth in some transparent attempt to create a straw man to slay. Refusing to platform violent and dangerous ideologies isn’t coercion or the use of force. You don’t have a right to be heard.

          • Jistuce

            No one’s talking about “platforming” anyone.

            We’re talking about an employer firing someone for privately supporting a presidential candidate. After forcing them to endorse an alternative candidate of the employer’s choosing as a condition of continued employment. Which, again, is HELLA illegal.

          • Thud

            Perceptive of you to recognize the strawmanning and call it out as it clearly was just that.

          • Thud

            It's a universal response to authoritarians being impeded to say their rights are being violated. Sorry but the line has to be drawn somewhere right? You just want to be the one to draw the line.

          • Jistuce

            I want employers to not mandate political affiliation, in any direction. We have laws against that for very good reasons.

            That said, I do believe in absolute free speech. The greatest defense against ugly ideas is to let them be seen in the light. To outlaw their existence and force them into shadow only gives them strength. This belief seems to just mark me as an old man nowadays.

            I also believe that using authoritarian tactics to counter alleged authoritarianism does not carry any form of legitimacy. You embrace what you claim to dispise, and "it's okay when we do it because we're right" is not a valid defense.

            I'd also argue that funding a single billboard for Trump before his presidency happened isn't resounding proof of moral character. It is easy to forget, in light of all that came later, that he didn't actually seem particularly unreasonable at the time in an election where no good choices survived the primaries.

    • I bet he's getting to be even more nerdy now than he ever was as the founder of Oculus, tbh. Just because it's being nerdy with gun-turrets and explosive drones doesn't mean it's not nerdy

  • ViRGiN

    @PalmerLuckey Ready Rift One CV1 Audio Fix when?

  • Jeff

    I agree it's a bad look promoting Palmer at this point. He's exposed himself for who he is, and it's fair to expect media to have a backbone about promoting such people. He can freely do what he wants- no one is asking to shutter his business, but you don't have to run PR for him either.

    • ViRGiN

      Everyone wants to be first covering his successes, nobody in the world wanted to even mention of his ready rift one scam, including this site. R2vr avoided many shady news, all in hopes in securing advertising from them.

  • Thud

    Since Bigscreen has accomplished many of the major goals that Luckey stated as the goals of Oculus I think it's safe to assume that since they appeared together here they may be working together. I can't believe that the interviewer didn't pose that question while she had them there.

    • Only trolls hide comments

      4th paragraph of the article you presumably just read:

      Though Luckey was on stage with Bigscreen Beyond creator Darshan Shankar, the two didn’t indicate any joint work together.

      Just because two people are on the same panel at a convention doesn't necessarily meant they are working together. Stephanie Riggs was also on the panel, are you going to assume she's working with Luckey as well?

      If Luckey was working with Bigscreen Beyond, AWE 2024 would have been the place to announce it. The fact no announcement was made leads me to believe that's not actually a thing.

      • Thud

        You may be right. I would like to see more funding go towards this form factor though.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Uhh what goals have Bigscreen accomplished that Lucket stated as goals for Oculus. Let me guess, you've got one.

      • Thud

        Let me guess, you've got one? Just looked at the comments after commenting a few days ago and see this reply. Andrew I've always viewed your comments as insightful. Why stoop to Virgin level discouse now?

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Haha, ok the last line you've got me on. But I was serious about the first. Luckey wanted to bring VR to the masses, Bigscreen certainly does not with their price and per person fixed headset.

  • Jistuce

    So there wasn't any more actual news than what he posted in Twitter? Disappointing.