Palmer Luckey believes in virtual border walls

Marco Green
June 5, 2017

Luckey sold Oculus, the virtual reality company he cofounded in 2012, to Facebook for $2.3 billion (£1.7 billion) in 2014. Rather than trying to jump back into the virtual reality industry though, Luckey has opted to form a brand new startup company, which will be working on surveillance technology.

"We are spending more than ever on defense technology, yet the pace of innovation has been slowing for decades", Palmer said.

Mr. Thiel's investment firm, Founders Fund, plans to invest in it, according to people with knowledge of its plans. "We need a new kind of defence company, one that will save taxpayer dollars while creating superior technology to keep our troops and citizens safer", Palmer said in a statement to The New York Times.

Post Oculus, Luckey's next idea is reported to be the use of a self-driving technology Lidar (light detect and ranging) along with infrared sensors and cameras to monitor the border for illegal crossings among other things. People familiar with the technology say that it will be able to distinguish between moving targets through specialized software - identifying the difference between humans or coyotes, for example - and even detect drones flying in the vicinity.

The paper quoted insiders who said it planned to use sensors similar to those found on autonomous vehicles to monitor activity around fences and walls.

Luckey has reportedly already met with White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon to discuss the surveillance technology and the possibility of using it at the Mexico border.

Now financed by Luckey himself, the startup already has a few employees including former Oculus employee Christopher Dycus. "There was no action after the meeting".

Mr. Luckey is also known to have funded a pro-Trump online advocacy group and gave cash to help pay for President Trump's inauguration ceremony. A spokeswoman for Founders Fund declined to comment.

"You can't make everyone happy, and there are good arguments on both sides, but it is clear that people who happen to align with opinions held by the majority of the media come out ahead either way".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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