Oculus Gets New VR Helmsman, Looks Toward Future
Facebook recently hired former Apple executive Michael Hillman to head up its subsidiary, Oculus, showing that the virtual reality company is looking toward the future despite the loss of a recent lawsuit regarding some misappropriated intellectual property. Hillman will be head of VR hardware, making him responsible for further development of the company’s current Rift headset, as well as any future projects Oculus has planned.
Hillman worked at Apple for 15 years, where he worked on several hardware projects, including iMac. He left the Cupertino-based firm in 2015 and spent the last two years working on driverless cars for a start-up firm. He is named on several major patents held by Apple and industry insiders expect that he’ll be in charge of developing several more while at Oculus.
Hillman’s arrival is auspicious as Oculus has had a heady few weeks: not only did it lose the lawsuit — the company’s lawyers are appealing the decision by the Texas jury — it’s CTO John Carmack made a bit of a spectacle of himself on social media by posting a long, angry rant regarding the court’s decision. Ever since then, it seems parent company Facebook has tightened the reins a little on the VR company, though this could also have to do with Zuckerberg’s general push toward more and better hardware.
Oculus’ organizational structure has split into one arm that develops for PC and one that is geared toward creating tech for the mobile market. Hillman will have his work cut out for him the coming years as the market is bound to become even more competitive under pressure from Valve CEO Gabe Newell. With the Rift headset already underperforming a little when compared to its main competitor, the HTC Vive, Oculus has quite the task ahead of it, though with the full might of Facebook behind them, anything is possible.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.