Facebook is looking to launch enterprise edition versions of its Oculus Go and Oculus Quest virtual reality (VR) headsets this year, according to a job listing published late last week. The listing spells out broader plans to bring augmented and virtual reality technology to the enterprise, starting with dedicated enterprise versions of the two headsets.
“Starting with VR, we are building an Oculus Go and Oculus Quest Enterprise edition expected to launch in 2019,” it reads in part. “Are you excited about how VR and AR can change the future of work? Join us to make it a reality.”
Facebook in the past launched Oculus for Business as a dedicated bulk purchasing program for companies looking to dive into VR. A company spokesperson told Variety Monday that the enterprise edition products will be part of its existing business offerings. She declined to share any further details.
It does appear that these new enterprise editions will go a lot further than the company’s existing bulk purchase program. The person hired for the job will have to “design and develop enterprise features into Oculus mobile VR system applications,” get Oculus hardware and software ready to be used in corporate trainings, adhere to the stricter security rules in enterprise environments and “work with external developers innovating on future-of-work experiences,” according to the job listing.
Facebook’s enterprise ambitions could be bad news for competitor HTC, which has increasingly focused on corporate clients for its latest VR headsets. After first releasing its HTC Vive Focus standalone headset for consumers in China, the company launched it in Europe and the U.S. as an enterprise product. This includes a dedicated commercial licensing and support plan dubbed Advantage.
The fact that companies like Facebook and HTC are increasingly focusing on enterprise VR usage can also be seen as a response to lower-than-expected headset sales to consumers. Facebook is hoping that its upcoming Oculus Quest headset, which offers immersive VR gameplay without the need for a PC, will finally catch on with consumers. The headset, which will be priced $399, is scheduled to be released to consumers this spring.