Northeastern University VR lab targeted in explosive mail attack


A staff member at Northeastern University’s Holmes Hall was injured after opening an explosive package, the Boston Police Department reports.

Holmes Hall is home to the university’s virtual reality center. Federal law enforcement sources told CNN that the package included a “rambling note” that disparaged Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the relationship between academia and VR. Zuckerberg, who attended Harvard University before dropping out to pursue Facebook, has no clear relationship to Northeastern.

Meta did not respond to TechCrunch’s request for comment.

The explosive mail was reportedly not a traditional bomb — instead, the hard plastic case “depressurized with the force of an explosion,” CNN reports, injuring the employee who opened it.

Northeastern has its own student-run virtual reality club, called NUVR. The group meets every week in the Immersive Media Lab in Holmes Hall, where the violent package was sent.

About a year ago, Facebook rebranded to Meta to represent its increasing interest in virtual reality. Now, Zuckerberg refers to the company formerly known as Facebook as a “metaverse company.” So far, though, the company’s investments in virtual reality have been largely unprofitable. Last quarter alone, Meta spent $2.8 billion on Reality Labs, its AR and VR division, yet critics point out that Meta’s VR products still look relatively rudimentary.

Northeastern University VR lab targeted in explosive mail attack by Amanda Silberling originally published on TechCrunch

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