According to a report by The New York Times, Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey, is working on startup focused on surveillance technology using LIDAR systems. The former head of the VR firm has even met with government officials to pitch his project.
The news comes just months after Luckey left Oculus in the aftermath of a heated legal battle with ZeniMax. The two companies disputed the intellectual property of the technology powering the Rift headset, and the video game conglomerate won the case.
Mark Zuckerberg acquired Oculus VR in 2014 in a $3 billion deal. Luckey reportedly got at least $700 million out of that purchase, and he was ordered to pay $50 million to ZeniMax last February for damages.
Palmer Luckey could make Trump’s wall cheaper
According to inside sources, part of the new startup’s marketing strategy is using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology to enhance the security systems in the United State’s borders.
In combination with traditional cameras and infrared sensors, the organization believes it can bring more efficient solutions to the perimeter security industry. LIDAR tech, which is an essential component of self-driving vehicle arrays, uses invisible lasers to detect objects and determine their position.
The New York Times’ sources say Luckey would implement complimentary systems to differentiate between threats like drones, vehicles, and suspicious objects from birds and insects that enter the cameras’ field of vision. Machine learning models could be a solution.
Members of Trump’s inner circle support the LIDAR surveillance project
Luckey has shown political affinity with the Trump administration, in spite of calling himself a Libertarian during the election cycle.
He funded an online campaign group called Nimble America, whose purpose was to spread Donald Trump memes across the internet and even put up real billboards. He gave $10,000 to the nonprofit group and later contributed to the President’s inauguration ceremony.
Then, on April, he held a fundraiser for Senator Ted Cruz, the largest border state in the country. That same month, Luckey met with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to talk about the project, a solution the executive has called “cost-effective” according to sources close to him.
Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and current strategic advisor to the President, reportedly wants to back Luckey’s startup through his Founders Fund capital group. A spokesperson for his office said there was no immediate action taken after the meeting.
Source: The New York Times