Oculus Hires Michael Abrash, for Science
Hot on the heels of their acquisition by Facebook, Oculus has hired Michael Abrash as their new Chief Scientist. Abrash is a former Valve employee who helped spearhead the company’s foray into Virtual Reality. He’s also a programmer who worked with John Carmack to make the original Quake a reality.
In a blog post on Friday, Abrash talked about his inspirations for pursuing VR technology, and provides an interesting glimpse into the forces behind the evolution of VR. Recent news of the Oculus purchase has provoked a variety of reactions, from disappointment to outrage, with many critics citing Facebook’s tendency to let its acquisitions stagnate, as well as concerns about user privacy and the forcible integration of Oculus’ VR hardware and the much-reviled Facebook experience. Abrash however, is extremely optimistic about the acquisition and briefly talks about the upside of Oculus VR’s new $2 billion cash infusion.
“...I've written before that VR wouldn't become truly great until some company stepped up and invested the considerable capital to build the right hardware – and that it wouldn't be clear that it made sense to spend that capital until VR was truly great. I was afraid that that Catch-22 would cause VR to fail to achieve liftoff.
That worry is now gone. Facebook's acquisition of Oculus means that VR is going to happen in all its glory. The resources and long-term commitment that Facebook brings gives Oculus the runway it needs to solve the hard problems of VR – and some of them are hard indeed. I now fully expect to spend the rest of my career pushing VR as far ahead as I can.”
Only time will tell whether Oculus’ new management is a good or bad thing, but the company continues to grow its already impressive roster, leaving hope for very exciting developments for the world of VR.