Go Home Facebook, Yelp Just Won the Virtual-Reality War

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
March 26 2014 6:41 PM

Go Home Facebook, Yelp Just Won the Virtual-Reality War

Yelpulus Rift photo
Yo dawg, we heard you like augmented reality.

Screenshot / YouTube

On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it’s buying the maker of the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset for $2 billion. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg enthused that the unwieldy-looking device could be “the next major computing platform” and “the most social platform ever.” But he admitted that it would take years for that potential to be realized.

Will Oremus Will Oremus

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

Bad news, Mark—looks like Yelp has beaten you to the virtual punch. The San Francisco-based business-reviews site has actually been working on augmented-reality for years. Its semi-secret Yelp Monocle mode activates your smartphone’s camera and overlays ratings of nearby restaurants and bars on their actual (approximate) location. But now it has unveiled the real stunner: a full-on augmented reality device that it calls Yelpulus Rift.

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Watch it and weep, Oculytes:

Not just augmented reality, but augmented augmented reality. Folks, it doesn’t get much realer than that.

Via Yelp

Previously in Slate:

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

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