Palmer Freeman Luckey was a Silicon Valley genius. When he was just 21, he made an overnight fortune selling his start-up, a company called Oculus VR that made virtual-reality gear, to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014.
But that success story took a sideways turn this year when Mr. Luckey was pressured to leave Facebook months after news spread that he had secretly donated to an organization dedicated to spreading anti-Hillary Clinton internet memes.
Now Mr. Luckey is back. He's freely sharing his politics on social media. He also contributed $100,000 to Mr. Trump's inauguration, through one of his companies, according to Federal Election Commission records.
And he has a new start-up in the works, a company that is developing surveillance technology that could be deployed on borders between countries and around military bases, according to three people familiar with the plan who asked for anonymity because it's still confidential. They said the investment fund run by Peter Thiel, a technology adviser to Mr. Trump, planned to support the effort. Mr. Luckey confirmed that he was working on a defense-related start-up. His goal is to create a new kind of defense company, one that will save taxpayer dollars while creating superior technology to keep our troops and citizens safer.
The company plans to use a technology found in self-driving cars called LIDAR - shorthand for light detection and ranging - as well as infrared sensors and cameras to monitor borders for illegal crossings. The technology can be used for many kinds of perimeter security, including military bases and stadium events, where it could be used to detect drones.