Luckey is captivated with technology and, in particular, virtual reality.
The '90s began with go-anywhere adventures inside Star Trek's holodeck and closed with "The Matrix." In between came "The Lawnmower Man," "Strange Days" and other tales framed around the possibilities and implications of a technology that could substitute reality for one made of cyberspace.
"'The Matrix' was a big inspiration," Luckey, now 21, recalls. "A very cool film that left a big impact on me."
The masses, alas, got iPods instead of
Earlier this month, the company Luckey founded, Oculus, left
"Oculus has created a device that may usher in an era of truly immersive gaming and entertainment," said techie website Engadget, in naming it the best gadget of CES. Business Insider was even more gushing: "Mere Words Can't Do Justice To How Awesome The New Oculus Rift Gaming Headset Is -- And I Don't Even Like Video Games."
In December, the Irvine-based company got a vote of confidence in the form of
"They're closer to [broad consumerization] than I've ever seen in 20 years," says
It all started with Luckey, who was home-schooled in
He's been making things ever since. There are no electricians in the family. His dad, Brett, sells cars.
Luckey started doing freelance computer repair work as a teenager. He repaired broken
That funded the purchase of old
When the iPhone came out in 2007, his ability to make cash by repairing gadgets multiplied. He would buy boxes of broken phones and mix and match the working components to make whole, fixed ones.
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