Facebook creates London-based Oculus virtual reality team

Facebook has created a London-based hub for its virtual reality Oculus division, enlisting former Google software engineer Mike LeBeau to lead the team.

The office will be the first European VR base for the social giant, which bought Oculus for $2bn back in 2014.

Employee profiles on LinkedIn have revealed that over the past six months Facebook has significantly expanded its UK team of engineers and developers. LeBeau, who overseen the creation of Google's original voice search function, moved to Facebook as product manager in 2014 and now holds the same title at Oculus.

Posting to the social network in January, LeBeau indicated that the London hub would play a big role in the development of its VR technology.

"The progress and potential for virtual reality technology right now is just bananas. Oculus is right at the center of it and I’m super excited to dive in and work with this amazing team of people. And we’re going to build some really cool stuff in London," he wrote.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has made no secret of his desire to invest in VR to compete against rivals like Google, Apple and Samsung who are also building new products. Oculus now has office in six cities globally including Menlo Park and Hong Kong.

The Oculus Rift headset was revealed earlier this year, but despite the hype surrounding the debut Facebook's chief financial officer David Wehner has asserted that it's not likely to have a "material imapact" on the platform's revenue this year.

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