Palmer Luckey had a bad turn of events in 2016 when it was discovered he lied about posting anti-Clinton and was ostracized from the public for a time. The former Oculus CEO is now looking to make a return and is bringing an idea that could prove controversial.
New Means Of Defense
According to a report from the New York Times, Palmer Luckey is back working a new venture away from his VR roots at Oculus. Luckey is now self-funding and developing a new security tech being designed for deployment at military bases and borders. The tech will use infrared sensors, cameras, and lidar to catch anyone who is trespassing on anywhere this would be deployed. Lidar is short for light detection and ranging. It is a common piece of tech used in self-driving car programs.
As mentioned, the project is now being self-funded by Luckey; however, there has been an interest in the project. In the same report, Trump's tech advisor Peter Thiel has expressed interest in investing and funding the project via his investment company, Founders Fund.
Thiel isn't the only one in the Trump camp who has expressed interest in the project. It's believed Luckey met with Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon about the possibility of the tech being applied to the Mexican Border. Luckey also spoke with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke back in April and reportedly spoke on a similar matter.
"We are spending more than ever on defense technology, yet the pace of innovation has been slowing for decades," Luckey wrote in an email to the New York Times. "We need a new kind of defense company, one that will save taxpayer dollars while creating superior technology to keep our troops and citizens safer," he added.
Not Shying Away From Controversy
Since the 2016 Presidential Election, Luckey seems to find himself involved, one way or another, with some sort of controversy. As mentioned, this all started with reports emerging that Luckey had been donating to a group spreading anti-Clinton materials online. This turned him into a pariah in the tech world, where anti-Trump sentiment is very high and he left Oculus as a result.
Even his girlfriend, a well-known cosplayer, found herself in getting flak for supporting GamerGate. GameGate was an online movement that began in 2014 in response to personalities including Anita Sarkeesian, who called for more diversity and equality in the games industry. Some tried to rebrand the movement as a desire for unbiased, ethical reporting in games media but it was never enough to pull away from its sexist roots.
This latest venture by Luckey is bound to spark up more controversy for the young tech mogul again. Trump's wall has been a source of tension and division since he announced it as part of his platform during the Republican Primaries and the Presidential Election. The meetings Luckey has taken with Bannon and Zinke won't help him, and it's sure to make him one of the biggest targets of anti-Trump groups.