In the wake of last week’s announcement regarding required Facebook logins for Oculus VR users, Facebook has announced that Oculus will be renamed to Facebook Reality Labs, and that related Oculus references will be rebranded as well.
Facebook put out a blog post announcing the rebranding, indicating that the name change was something which came about internally from Oculus as opposed to a top down decision from Facebook. They have also announced that the annual Oculus Connect conference is being renamed Facebook Connect. The reasoning behind that change, aside from unified corporate branding, is the number of news items and events relating to products which were outside the Oculus VR umbrella, such as Spark AR and Facebook Portal digital assistant devices.
As Andrew Bosworth, head of the newly renamed Facebook Reality Labs, states, “Before today, we lacked a unified brand identity from which to tell the story of how we’re building the future of VR and AR. With the Facebook Reality Labs name, we’re making clear where these technologies are coming from. We hope you’ll come along for the ride. In the meantime, we’ll be working in the lab.”
It was also announced that Facebook Connect will be taking place on September 16. Keynotes and various sessions will be accessible through the FRL Facebook page.
Food For Thought
Facebook’s massive rebranding overhaul started last year, and it’s not particularly surprising that Oculus is getting sucked in as part of that effort. While Bosworth writes that “privacy is baked into our design process from the beginning,” incidents such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that privacy and security concerns will be enforced with any degree of consistency once new products are finally released. Some might question whether this would have happened if Palmer Luckey was still CEO of Oculus, but the result would likely have been the same.