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August 21, 2014

Facebook Offering Rewards for Bug Discoveries in Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift is a new virtual reality headset that lets players step inside their favorite games and virtual worlds. The company is owned by Facebook.

If you’re a virtual reality aficionado, there may be a way to make money from your passion.

Facebook is now including Oculus Rift, its virtual reality gaming glasses, in its bug bounty program. The social network doled out $2 billion last month to purchase the maker of the device: Oculus VR. Oculus Rift is expected to hit the market later this year or in early 2015.

The Oculus Rift in action.

The Oculus Rift in action.

Now that the Oculus Rift headsets are part of the bug bounty program, users can report bugs to Facebook for a monetary reward. Those who notify the firm of small or minor glitches will receive the minimum reward of $500. The reward increases based on the severity of the bug discovered and there is no maximum payout. Last year, the social network shelled out $1.5 million in bug bounties.

Facebook security engineer Neal Poole told The Verge most bugs are in Oculus’ messaging system, but he anticipates that could change when the device — Facebook’s first hardware product — goes on the market.

“A lot of the issues that come up with Oculus are not necessarily in the hardware yet,” Poole told The Verge. “Potentially in the future, if people were to go explore and find issues in the SDK or the hardware, that is definitely of interest to us.”

Oculus first gave a demonstration of the Oculus Rift prototype at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2012. Since then, its invention has generated a lot of interest. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign in August 2012 to further develop the product and surpassed its $250,000 goal in just four hours. It had secured more than $1 million within 36 hours and, by the time the month was up, it had managed to raise more than $2.4 million.

Oculus is Facebook’s second multi-billion-dollar purchase this year — it snapped up messaging app WhatsApp in February for $19 billion.