Facebook Goes Virtual in Pittsburgh

Facebook is opening an Oculus virtual reality research center in Oakland, Pa., another tech giant to put down roots in the Pittsburgh area.

Pittsburgh–The city’s top-notch talent pool has attracted yet another tech giant. After Google, Uber and most recently Apple, Facebook is now planning to set up a presence in Pittsburgh.

Sign outside Facebook HQ main entrance at Menlo Park

Sign outside Facebook HQ main entrance at Menlo Park

The company’s new office in the Steel City will be located at Schenley Place in Oakland and will be dedicated to an Oculus virtual reality research center, as previously reported by the VentureBeat.

Since the operation will initially focus on computer vision, Facebook is looking to fill in positions for a computer vision researcher, a computer vision engineer, and a postdoctoral research scientist focusing on computer vision.

Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion in spring 2014. Famous for its high-end hardware and software for virtual reality, the company has recently begun preorders for the first consumer version of Oculus Rift, a VR headset valued at $599, while the Samsung Gear VR went on sale last year for $99.

Seen as the backyard of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh is currently emerging as a major world force in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics. Last fall, for instance, on-demand car service Uber announced a $5.5 million grant for the creation of a new faculty chair and three new fellowships in robotics at Carnegie Mellon. The new tech center will support the company’s efforts to develop self-driving cars.

Apple, which maintains a presence at the Collaborative Innovation Center on the campus, has also recently expanded in the city. Just last year, the company leased 26,000 square feet at Oxford Development’s Three Crossings mixed-use complex in the Strip District, an area known for its emerging tech and start-up economy.

Image courtesy of Facebook