At just 24, Palmer Luckey has gone through a lot more than most people his age: from creating class-leading VR accouterments to affairs his aggregation to Facebook for billions, to making it to Forbes’ 2016 list of the wealthiest Americans under 40, to ablution a startup that’s invested in surveillance technology for border security. So how did he get here?

It’s been a wild ride, to say the least. While being homeschooled and after accessory California State University, Long Beach, Luckey approved a deep absorption in cutting-edge hardware. He is said to have begun experimenting with VR at 17, tinkering with angle prototypes in his parents’ garage with a view to solve issues of high cessation and cost.

Bringing VR dreams to life

By 2012, Luckey was ready to take his ideas to the next level. He launched a Kickstarter attack to fund his effort to build developer kits of the Oculus Rift headset, and started a aggregation to go with it.


Luckey raised more than $2 actor from nearly 10,000 backers at the time, able an unparalleled gaming acquaintance for hardcore players. Oculus even collaborated with allegorical gaming studio id Software to show off a VR copy of Doom 3 BFG Copy at the celebrated E3 expo that year. The aggregation also managed to sign up Scaleform CEO Brendan Iribe to run the business.

By March 2013, Oculus had begun to ship the first 10,000 development kits it had promised to backers of its crowdfunding attack at $350 apiece. The aggregation after raised money to the tune of over $90 million, hired id Software’s John Carmack as its CEO and partnered with Valve in developing VR tech.

Then, it happened: In March 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion, with a view to pursue not only gaming in VR, but other applications like video, apprenticeship and healthcare.

Coming undone

Naturally, Luckey became the poster child for VR and appeared on Time Magazine’s cover in August 2015. His aggregation had apparent the customer adaptation of the Rift angle and appear a Q1 2016 absolution date. But the afterward year, while Oculus’ go-to-market efforts were going strong, things began to fall apart for Luckey.


In September 2016, a story about Luckey allotment a pro-Trump non-profit alignment called Nimble America began doing the rounds. Luckey, estimated by Forbes to be worth $730 million at the time, had donated almost $10,000 to the group that put up Anti-Hillary Clinton billboards in the US ahead of the presidential elections.

Backlash from Luckey’s move spread to affect Oculus as well. And while he declared himself as a libertarian, he donated $100,000 to Donald Trump’s countdown board through a shell corporation. In democrat-friendly Silicon Valley, the move may likely have alienated Luckey a fair bit.

The great deception

Luckey’s troubles with Oculus began this January, when ZeniMax — the parent aggregation behind game studios like Bethesda and id (where Carmack joined from) — claimed that the young entrepreneur’s origin story was bogus, that Carmack had stolen bags of files from the aggregation and used them to advance the Rift.

By February, ZeniMax had won the case it brought adjoin Oculus in court, and was awarded half a billion dollars for actionable an NDA, anarchic a absorb and for false appellation on Luckey’s and Iribe’s part. It’s accessible then, that the tale about Luckey fashioning a Rift in his parents’ garage may not have been absolutely true. By the end of March, Luckey had left Facebook.

One door closes…

So, what now? Luckey has his sights set on the aegis industry. He accepted to the New York Times that he’s architecture a new startup that’s focused on surveillance technology to adviser borders.

The idea is use Lidar and bittersweet sensors, as well as cameras and smart software to detect people bridge borders or other secure perimeters (like aggressive bases), as well as drones. According to the NYT’s sources, the accouterments can be army on blast poles, so as to set up a ‘virtual border wall’ at a far lower cost than architecture a real wall like the one President Trump has shown activity about.

PayPal co-founder and abrupt Republican Peter Thiel is believed to be absorbed in advance in Luckey’s new venture. What’s more, There have also been letters about Luckey having met with President Trump’s chief architect Stephen Bannon, as well as with the US Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke.

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