back to article Facebook scoffed at $500m damages. Now Oculus faces nerd goggles injunction

Sometimes it's wise not to boast that you're so rich, a $500m damages award against you is chump change. Earlier this month, Facebook CTO Sheryl Sandberg scoffed at the paltry $500m damages it was ordered to award Zenimax Media for IP theft regarding its Oculus Rift nerd goggles. Sandberg said that the bill was "not material …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sub text is

    FB Boss : I am going to ingore the $500M until I can off load all my Stock options.

  2. I Like Heckling Silver badge

    Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

    I'll put it in simple terms... ANYTHING which makes the user look silly is historically doomed to failure. Sure it might become a short term fad, but it will then slip away into obscurity in the same way that 3D s doing. No major manufacturer is producing any 3D tv's... and with that death toll, 3D enabled blurays will soon follow. 3D may survive in the cinema but until such a time as they can make a universal glasses free 3D experience that everyone can enjoy... It's a dead format, it just hasn't realised it yet.

    VR will go the same way. It's already a niche product in a market saturated with niche products and it makes the user look like an utter idiot when wearing them... Regardless of the tech involved... that alone means it's doomed.

    I predicted the demise of 3D TV and have been proved right... I'm predicting that VR will never become a mainstream product and will remain a niche within a niche only for a tiny minority of hardcore gamers who just 'Have' to have the latest shiny things regardless of it's usefulness... and who will eschew it's greatness because it makes them feel justified in spending their money on it.

    Kinda like people who buy the latest i devices. :)

    1. Raumkraut

      Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

      I'll put it in simple terms... ANYTHING which makes the user look silly is historically doomed to failure.

      I would agree with you, but I remember a time when people looked at you funny for walking down the street talking to yourself. But now, I see people doing that every day, and talking hands-free on your mobile is simply something that people do now.

      1. shade82000

        Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

        In a few more years, after dying down and popping up again a couple more times it will start gaining traction.

        There's a pattern to these things, and an invention has to be a genuine revolutionary product to catch on the first time round. The ipod, iphone, ipad, iraq, facebook. They were not 'firsts' but they were just the ones who left out the bits that helped previous iterations to fail.

        I imagine that is why Apple are relatively quiet in the VR arena, they are possibly watching all the other companies do the hard work, letting them make the mistakes, then when it's all sorted and the only thing left to do is market the new technology ... Introducing to you ... the revolutionary new ... iVirtualRealityPod *

        * (c) 2025 Apple - protected by patent no. 3453649235124 which governs the independant use of eyes to perceive depth.

        1. Crazy Operations Guy
          Joke

          Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

          Well, Apple already has a long track record with their Reality Distortion Field...

    2. Matt Bucknall

      Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

      I tend to agree, except to say, Apple does kind of well out of the people who buy the latest i devices!

    3. Kaltern

      Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

      So off topic, I don't understand why it's still allowed here.

      1. Matt Bucknall

        Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

        If you're referring to my comment - It was a reference to the last line of I Like Heckling's post.

      2. IsJustabloke
        Facepalm

        Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

        "So off topic, I don't understand why it's still allowed here."

        if you would be so kind as to publish a list of "kalten Approved posts and Topics" I'm sure we'll all be happy to oblige you.... or possibly not.

        who made you the post police?

    4. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

      makes the user look silly

      I don't care when I'm sitting in my living room by myself, or playing some really fun video games with friends similarly attired.

      When you're wearing VR, that goes away because you see your VR world, not yourself wearing the goggles.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

      So.. you're predicting that what is currently the case will remain in the future. Right.

    6. tfewster
      Holmes

      Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

      > ... ANYTHING which makes the user look silly is historically doomed to failure...

      Like hats, bike helmets, glasses, Lycra, Hi-Vis vests etc. etc. ?

      If it serves a purpose, users will put up with the indignity. 3D TV though - I never got the point of "real" depth for a viewer who doesn't move around. Decent lighting and direction make it unnecessary for the mass markets.

      Earflaps - have a purpose -------->

      Mortarboards, top hats and gimp masks - not so much

      1. Grunchy Bronze badge

        Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

        Talking about 3d, Cracked just put out a youtube video explaining that nobody talks about one #1 movie anymore (Avatar) because the only thing it innovated was 3d, which is pretty much defunct now.

        You know what I find hilarious is the fact that, according to this story, Rift was pulled from BestBuy. I've been there a few times around Christmastime and they never had any VR systems to try out. For example: they want $700 Canadian for Sony PSVR, but no trial hardware to try out. Who's going to pay that? Especially when the reason they don't have trial hardware (hygiene) is the reason they're gonna give you static if you buy & don't like it because it makes you sick.

        I love to hate Facebook, I'd like to see Zuck fired over this one :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 3D TV though - I never got the point...

        Re: "3D TV though - I never got the point of "real" depth for a viewer who doesn't move around."

        Isn't it that you don't need to because the scene moves around like it always has even in 2D?

        Or do you pause your set and run round the living room to make it move?

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

      "ANYTHING which makes the user look silly is historically doomed to failure"

      Bicycles and glasses.

    8. JustNiz

      Re: Why VR is doomed to be nothing more than a Niche within a Niche

      Have you even experienced roomscale VR? It doesn't sound like it. Its at least definately far more than the sum of its parts.

      I can accept that VR will continue to be a niche product but that doesn't necessarily mean its going away anytime soon either. There are many very successful companies (Ferrari etc) that have gotten very rich from serving niche markets for a very long time. I mean you could argue that PC gaming as a whole is niche (given far more gamers are actually using consoles or even phones) but nVidia are still getting rich out or making premium GPUs for the PC gaming market.

      > Kinda like people who buy the latest i devices. :)

      That would include the "niche within a niche" billions of people that bought iPhones and turned Apple into the cash-richest company on the planet?...ermm.. ok...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As A Juror

    I guess cases should be decided on their merits, but when it comes to FaceBook........

    I dunno, I think I'd ask the judge if the death penalty was an option.

  4. Charles 9 Silver badge

    3D display won't be truly eye-catching until it's volumetric, as in projecting out into open space such that you can walk around it. No fancy headgear, no need to be positioned just right. It just works with the Eyeball Mk I. That's what the public is really waiting for, but the technology to display voxels in open air isn't there yet, plus whatever data demands are being pushed with today's 4K screens are raised a whole order of magnitude with volumetric displays. Just a 1Kx1Kx1K volumetric display, 32 bits per voxel (you now MUST include the alpha element), updated 15 times a second will require 60GB (yes, gigaBYTES) of bandwidth to keep up.

    1. Crazy Operations Guy

      "Just a 1Kx1Kx1K volumetric display, 32 bits per voxel (you now MUST include the alpha element), updated 15 times a second will require 60GB (yes, gigaBYTES) of bandwidth to keep up."

      No, that would only need to be what the rending device need to send to a display. A single DVI link is capable of 16 GB/s (3840x2160 x 32-bit color x 60fps) but the CPU only needs to send a few megabytes per second to the GPU to render that picture.

      Besides, a 3D display like the one you describe wouldn't even need to that much bandwidth since it would only need to render all visible surfaces such as if you had a 100px cube, it wouldn't bother rendering all 1,000,000 pixels that make up the object, but rather just the 6000 px that make up its visible sides.

      And even then, it wouldn't need to render all visible side if one is obscured by another object (like if that cube was on top of a simple plane). Bandwidth could be further reduced by tracking the location, angle, and focus of the user's eyes and only render the surfaces that would be visible to them, similar to how 3d applications / games currently work.

      Yeah, the technology for it does not yet exist, but it isn't all that far away (May already exist in a lab somewhere).

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        In a true volumetric display, you need to render ALL surfaces (because you'll be able to see the BACK). Plus not all surfaces are opaque.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Render all surfaces

          I know very little about GPU processing but I think these days when you can have multiple fast cards and more video RAM than I have normal RAM in my laptop, these things have likely been considered and optimised already in the 2D world?

          It's the addition of a depth plane that is new, not the transparent vs opaque, those things already exist.

          Out of 3 different approaches (i) render everything to be safe (ii) render everything just in case it's transparent or (iii) check if it would need rendering before wasting more time on it, I think performing the last would be the most efficient on average? Surely taking some time to calculate whether something needs to be drawn is a good compromise?

          I think the numbers above would be would be a worst case, they would probably be somewhere half way along that scale on average.

          I'm just thinking out loud, sorry.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Render all surfaces

            Yes, existing 2d (and 3d stereoscopic) systems already account for most of that. With VR a few new problems appear, and a few new solutions to deal with them.

            Such as transparency only being accounted for for one camera, and now having two. With some textures "cheating" a fake depth, then the effect being obviously fake in 3d (The old trick of rendering a 3d like shadow/lighting effect onto a 2d billboard no longer works, as it's obviously 2d, and now needs to be fully rendered in 3d).

  5. JLV
    Boffin

    Lest you think Zenimax is just an East Texas bottom feeder

    They own Bethesda which does the Skyrim/Fallout series. Both of those have long been doing immersive world rendering on their game engines. They're big worlds and the fluidity and flexibility of the system have always been impressive, rather than being just pure graphics eye candy. There are better looking games out there, but Bethesda's look more dynamic/data driven rather than using render/POV/limited path tricks.

    So, without otherwise knowing the specifics of the IP infringement in question there is a potential that it was real stuff not just USPTO fodder.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Lest you think Zenimax is just an East Texas bottom feeder

      And for the record, Carmack and ZeniMax come together because ZeniMax also owns iD.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Lest you think Zenimax is just an East Texas bottom feeder

      That's what was so funny about Zuck pretending he'd never heard of Zenimax.

  6. Cynical Shopper

    Oculus had no expertise – other than Palmer Luckey who could not code

    So they did have expertise. And one of the other three could do the coding.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

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