Many libraries offer more than dusty ol' paperbacks these days, but we imagine you'd still be surprised to walk into your local library to find an Oculus Rift set up and ready to go.
This will soon be a common sight for some as Oculus is donating 100 Rift headsets (opens in new tab) with Oculus-ready PCs to 90 different libraries across California.
Part of a pilot program established by Oculus Education, the participating libraries make up nearly half of the state's 184 library jurisdictions. The program has aims to expand after the first wave of installations.
Despite its penchant for gaming, educators have also taken an interest in VR, with Oculus Education program manager Cindy Ball claiming the technology has "superpowers to accelerate learning."
“Both VR and AR will have a profound effect on education," said Ball in an official statement, "from making difficult academic subjects more accessible and increasing the efficiency of surgical training to providing a rich backdrop for storytelling and the development of empathy and understanding.”
By providing Rift access to public libraries, Oculus Education's initiative hopes to provide more equitable opportunities to try out VR. The potential to introduce more people to VR as well as provide immersive learning experiences is an exciting one, and one we hope to see expand elsewhere before long.