The Oculus Rift is a virtual-reality headset designed for consumers and developed by Oculus, a company founded by Palmer Luckey.
In 2011, frustrated with the few prototype virtual reality headsets he was able to try, Palmer Luckey (who earned money fixing and selling discarded mobile phones) created his own device working in his parents’ garage from parts he found on government auction sites and industry equipment liquidation sales. He was 18.
By mid-2012 Palmer Luckey felt ready to launch a Kickstarter campaign. As he explains, he wanted "to get money to buy all of the components required on a slightly larger scale and then send these out to people as kits so they could assemble them themselves using my instructions so they could have the same thing as I had. I figured it would be a really cool thing to have a couple of VR nerds toying around."
His Kickstarter was successful: Raising US$ $2,437,429 (from 10,000 people) or 974% of its original target.
In 2014, Oculus sold to Facebook for US$ 2 billion.
Here are links to a few scholarly articles about virtual environments and how the ability to create immersive experiences might change learning, business, medicine and design: