Facebook's Oculus has completed its takeover of InfiniLED, an Irish startup company that manufactures low-power LED displays. This new acquisition could mark a milestone for the virtual reality firm because of its pioneering technology that could eventually replace existing displays such as OLED, LCD and Plasma.
InfiniLED touts that its display technology called inorganic LED (ILED) is of next-generation caliber. It was developed within the photonics and nanoelectronics research that the company inherited from Tyndall National Institute upon its foundation back in 2010. This technology, which emits light after absorbing electric current, can purportedly produce better quality display while offering high-power efficiency that drastically reduces cost.
The new display technology is based on the patented µLED breakthrough developed by Brian Corbett, who was a recipient of an Intel Researcher of the Year award. According to an Irish Times report, the InfiniLED displays can consume up to 40 times less power than conventional displays today but it can produce four times more light as well as improved contrast and color range.
Rumors first emerged that Oculus has acquired InfiniLED when people started to notice that the company's signage in its Cork headquarters was replaced by Oculus. This rumor is now confirmed. VentureBeat, for example, was able to extract a confirmation from Oculus.
"That's all we're sharing right now," a spokesperson at Oculus said when pressed for the acquisition terms and details.
The news has also been confirmed by parties privy to the acquisition process.
"It is exciting to see that Oculus, a vibrant and leading-edge company, appreciates both the technology and the strength of the ecosystem that the InfiniLED team sits in," Dr. Kieran Drain, Tyndall chief executive, said.
Now, a good way to gain insights about the plans of a tech company and its products is to take a look at its acquisitions. With InfiniLED, Oculus seems bent on finding ways to lower the cost of its VR headset.
Presently, an Oculus Rift VR headset costs $599. The consumer will also have to shell outrageous amounts for the Oculus Touch Motion controller (priced at $199) and the high-spec computing system required to run the device. With InfiniLED display, Oculus is taking a step forward to making the platform cheaper to encourage mass adoption.
InfiniLED is reportedly manned by about 20 employees. They are now working for Oculus and reports indicate that the company will be expanding in anticipation for the increase in the production of its ILED display.