Facebook is continuing its assimilation of the Oculus brand as it announces that the Oculus Connect conference will go ahead as a virtual event on September 16, albeit rebranded as Facebook Connect (via TechCrunch).
As Facebook had already confirmed in April, the Connect event will be live-streamed online instead of being an in-person event. Unlike Oculus Connect conferences of previous years, this year's event will focus on the entirety of Facebook’s augmented and virtual reality efforts - not just that of Oculus. A schedule for the event is yet to be released, though you can expect the typical set of keynotes from Facebook engineers on the latest AR/VR innovations, and developer sessions giving in-depth looks at the latest releases from the company.
To signify the united effort of its VR and AR team, Facebook has rebranded it to Facebook Reality Labs (FRL), which includes their Portal device teams, Spark AR and, of course, Oculus itself. FRL was previously the name given to Facebook’s VR research division - this team now runs under the name FRL Research.
Facebook says the renaming of the conference aims to “better reflect its broader scope.” For the first time in its history, the event will be open to the public and free to attend - a helpful side effect of the conference going online-only. On the Facebook Reality Labs rebranding, Facebook says it wishes to create a “unified brand identity from which to tell the story of how we’re building the future of VR and AR”.
Despite this extensive rebranding of the internal teams, the Oculus brand name is not going away. The company has clarified that it is still developing Oculus hardware, and that Oculus is still very much a part of the Facebook VR team.
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