Chris Zaharia ,  Alex Hagan , and Oculus Rift

Chris ZahariaAlex Hagan, and Oculus Rift

Last week at the Australasian Talent Conference, we got to play around with Oculus Rift, the Virtual Reality headset that has been bought by Facebook for more than $2 billion.

Oculus Rift may mark the point where Virtual Reality moves from novelty to real-world practical application. To not only be playing Mario Brothers, but to BE Mario, is a surreal immersive experience.

 In the near-term, you can expect to see VR training simulations - but combined with robotics in the medium-term, the potential of this technology for the workplace (particularly for remote and dangerous work) is enormous. We've already seeing instances of robotics and remote control for unmanned bombing missions in Afghanistan, in bomb diffusing robots, and even in Disney Theme Parks - combining this type of remote controlled robotics with the immersive experience of Virtual Reality may be a logical next step.  For now, we're adding Oculus to the list of technologies to watch for Environment Scanning, and eager to see what Facebook will do with the technology.