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 Oculus Job Listings - Potentially New features 
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Certif-Eyed!

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Posted on the Oculus Twitter feed yesterday was a link to an updated Oculus Job Listings page: http://oculusvr.com/careers/
It looks largely similar to the last one, except with the minor addition of a few new positions:
Senior Research/Software Engineer – 3D Optical Flow

Senior Research/Software Engineer – Pose Tracking


These two positions are particularly interesting, suggesting that some future iteration of the Oculus Rift (or even another Oculus Branded HMD) would use Stereo Cameras to do 3D motion-tracked augmented reality with the capability to derive skeletal information from just looking at someone. And also, that these features would be accessible through the SDK for all games to implement.

This is a strong move in the Valve direction. They are very focused on Augmented Reality experiences, and currently, a High-FOV/Low Latency HMD is the best way to do it properly. Maybe Valve will officially endorse/support this HMD like the Hydra/Novint Falcon if they don't end up officially supporting the Rift.

I'm just wondering why they aren't finding someone proficient with Sensor fusion algorithms to fuse the IMU/Magnetometer/Visual Tracking data together.

Also, another interesting position:
Senior Software Engineer – 3D Tools Integration
Suggests that they are looking into "a range of 3D tool integrations such as Maya, Max, AutoCAD, Revit, SolidWorks, Cinema 4D". I suspect that this will have to do more with strategic partnerships with the companies in question than it will with one guy integrating it everywhere. The companies will probably use the Oculus SDK just like the rest of the game developers, but I suppose it's good to have a guy employed who's dedicated to making sure it happens.


Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:05 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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"3D Optical Flow" could also just mean absolute head tracking via head mounted camera instead of for AR. They must have received a crap-load of private funding because these are the type of R&D postings you normally see at larger companies with deep pockets. Unusual that a start-up could afford this type of long-range / no-guarantees research.


Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:23 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!
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Using front-camera's could fix positional-, orientation- & limb-tracking all at once.
Seems like a smart move.


Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:24 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!
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Optical flow definitely seems like the end game for self-localization in VR/AR.

brantlew wrote:
They must have received a crap-load of private funding because these are the type of R&D postings you normally see at larger companies with deep pockets. Unusual that a start-up could afford this type of long-range / no-guarantees research.


I wonder if they are able to get people relatively cheap, since this is just about every nerd's dream come true. Still, looking back to the beginning of the year, it's pretty incredible how far Palmer has come.


Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:51 pm
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Diamond Eyed Freakazoid!
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Yup! We're witnessing one hell of a success story here...

I hope I just didn't jinx it. :D


Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:21 pm
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Certif-Eyable!

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They already mentioned the stereo camera tracking stuff before when they advertised jobs for "Stereo Vision Expert" or something like that. I posted about that in the preorder thread (guessing what our surprise was).

It's very exciting, and it also means we'll get augmented reality, and less safety concerns. But it sounds like a lot of extra bandwith and processing, and increased cost.

I'm excited, but also worried, that they're hiring so many people. If they keep spending money, there's a risk of going out of business, like most other companies in this field.


Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:09 am
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Petrif-Eyed
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2EyeGuy wrote:
They already mentioned the stereo camera tracking stuff before when they advertised jobs for "Stereo Vision Expert" or something like that. I posted about that in the preorder thread (guessing what our surprise was).

It's very exciting, and it also means we'll get augmented reality, and less safety concerns. But it sounds like a lot of extra bandwith and processing, and increased cost.

I'm excited, but also worried, that they're hiring so many people. If they keep spending money, there's a risk of going out of business, like most other companies in this field.



I'm a bit worried about it as well. Stereo camera optical flow is probably the best solution to the positional head tracking problem, and I have seen enough demonstrations to convince me it could be done. But there are some risks involved - particularly with performance, computational requirements, and cost. I almost think they should approach it first with magnetic tracking. I think the magnetic solution is better understood, cheaper to produce, and already has some industry partners. Licensing technology from Sixense would cut into their margins, but it would allow them to create a solution quickly. I think optical flow R&D is going to be hard to implement well in the time frame they have in mind.

And for AR usage, I think the solutions are just not that well understood at this point. I feel like this will be an open-ended R&D project that may not reap rewards for 2 or 3 years. I applaud the ambition to hit all of these areas, but I would like to see them become established financially before they took these risks.


Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:26 am
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Cross Eyed!

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Surprised to be the first to point this out, but it has been stated elsewhere on this forum that the position listings are provisional. I think a lot of the old ones weren't even going to be under full consideration until the first dev kits ship at least.

As you guys said, it's just about every nerd in the worlds dream to work for these guys right now. I'd be willing be bet one of the jobs there that that leads to a hell of a candidate winnowing process.


Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:58 am
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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What these postings tell me is this:

Oculus is not just content to make HMDs based on Palmers existing innovations. They have the drive and funding to swing for the fences in general VR.

Good luck to them!


Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:53 am
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Two Eyed Hopeful
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mahler wrote:
Using front-camera's could fix positional-, orientation- & limb-tracking all at once.
Seems like a smart move.


Yes this looks very promising. John Carmack also talked about this in one of the videos. I wonder if you could easily incorporate something like this Edge3 system :

http://dvice.com/archives/2012/08/edge3-gesture-d.php#more

solve all tracking problems and maybe even make a first step towards AR-applications, almost sounds too good to be true. :mrgreen:


Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:03 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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zalo wrote:
Also, another interesting position:
Senior Software Engineer – 3D Tools Integration
Suggests that they are looking into "a range of 3D tool integrations such as Maya, Max, AutoCAD, Revit, SolidWorks, Cinema 4D". I suspect that this will have to do more with strategic partnerships with the companies in question than it will with one guy integrating it everywhere. The companies will probably use the Oculus SDK just like the rest of the game developers, but I suppose it's good to have a guy employed who's dedicated to making sure it happens.


I'm most excited about this. Games are cool, but being able to create is my VR dream. I'm happily surprised they're looking into this so early.

And it seems like a smart move. There's no reason why Microsoft or Sony couldn't make their own gaming HMDs. But if Oculus can build a strong SDK that sets their device up to be used as a peripheral/ display with a lot of applications and games, they should be able to corner a larger market before other companies move in.


Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:16 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Looks like the new listings have been removed:

http://oculusvr.com/careers/
Senior DSP Engineer/Scientist
Engineering Lab Technician
Component Sourcing Engineer
Senior Hardware/Firmware Display Engineer
Senior Web Developer
Senior/Principle Mechanical Engineer

Wonder if they were all filled.


Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:37 pm
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Certif-Eyed!

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rhinosix wrote:
And it seems like a smart move. There's no reason why Microsoft or Sony couldn't make their own gaming HMDs. But if Oculus can build a strong SDK that sets their device up to be used as a peripheral/ display with a lot of applications and games, they should be able to corner a larger market before other companies move in.


Oh yeah! If Oculus could expand it from being a simple gaming peripheral to encompassing almost all portions of the market, it could be as ubiquitous as the monitor.
All they would need to do to have a monopoly is make all the right partnerships at the right times (now), have a great product (so their partners don't run away), and market it right (good job so far). As long as they don't make bad/overpriced products, I'm fine if Oculus has an early monopoly because it will mean more 3rd party support for one system rather than fractured support for a bunch of systems.

Also, it's ominous that they removed the listings. They couldn't have decided on anyone yet (unless they're fresh from their senior jobs at Valve, Epic, Bethesda etc.) so maybe they have just received so many applications that they aren't accepting any more.


Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:18 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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Maybe those job listings were giving us too much information about what Oculus is up to :)


@zalo: I'll go further than that. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rift become a self contained "console" system itself in a couple of years. Just do all the graphics processing right there on the device so there were no wires anywhere. You just put your headset on. Grab a couple of hand-held wireless controllers and play.


Last edited by brantlew on Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:26 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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brantlew wrote:
Maybe those job listings were giving us too much information about what Oculus is up to :)


@zalo: I'll go further than that. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rift become a self contained "console" system itself in a couple of years. Just do all the graphics processing right there on the device so there were no wires anywhere? You just put your headset on. Grab a couple of hand-held wireless controllers and play.


Maybe the Saturday evening beverages are getting to me however man oh man, how sweet would this be!!! I am drooling just thinking about it! Oh how I dream of this day!


Last edited by space123321 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:27 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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brantlew wrote:
"3D Optical Flow" could also just mean absolute head tracking via head mounted camera instead of for AR. They must have received a crap-load of private funding because these are the type of R&D postings you normally see at larger companies with deep pockets. Unusual that a start-up could afford this type of long-range / no-guarantees research.


No external funding yet, just Kickstarter+founders right now. :)

Oculus is not looking to make an AR display, but using optical sensors for motion and limb tracking is a pretty promising area. We are looking into magnetic tracking too, but optical gets you a lot of bang for your buck.


Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:04 pm
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Certif-Eyable!

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I wasn't suggesting you were looking to make an AR display, I was suggesting that you were getting one for free as a side-effect. :) I know what you're trying to do, and it will be awesome if we get 6DOF head and hand tracking (and maybe even foot tracking!).

One thing I always wanted to be able to do in VR though is reach my hand over my shoulder and draw a weapon or rummage around for something in my backpack, or get an arrow from my quiver. Or hold my weapon above my head for a charged attack. Or draw things from my belt or legs without looking down. Or just shoot blindly behind me while I watch where I'm going. But I'd still happily sacrifice all those things if optical hand tracking from cameras on the front of the rift worked out great for head tracking.

I am surprised that magnetic tracking doesn't give more bang for your buck though, since it sounds fairly simple technically.

Are there going to be cameras on the dev kit?


Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:33 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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By optical, are you including kinect-style depth sensors? Because pure image-based pose detection has not really yet advanced to the point where it would be robust enough to use in a commercial system (not to mention the best performing methods, like Deva Ramanan's, tend to be very computationally expensive, as in 10x - 100x slower than real time).


Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:35 am
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Cross Eyed!
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2EyeGuy wrote:
I am surprised that magnetic tracking doesn't give more bang for your buck though, since it sounds fairly simple technically.


Potentially dumb question but what do computer programmable quadcopters use like the Parrot AR Drone for awareness of balance and orientation? One would think whatever sensors they use in those remote controlled copters would be just as responsive in a HMD?

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Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:19 am
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Cross Eyed!

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Pretty sure that drone uses an ultra sonic sensor to do precision elevation at low altitude, and a whole bunch of other sensors to keep it level. gyros, accelerometers etc. It then uses its down facing camera to get a fixed relative position to prevent drift on any of it.

It also has a forward facing camera, and given it already does one form of image processing on board, it could also be finding a horizon to stay steady too.


Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:02 am
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Cross Eyed!
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Woah, this means it may be possible to have your avatar manipulate objects within the virtual world.

That would be so very amazing!

Think about how much better skyrim could have been if spellcasting and swordfighting had a more physical aspect to it! But, one must wonder how this would work in conjunction with movement. Some gestures would work well for fighting, or throwing stuff in a backpack, or spell casting.

Oh, and making potions and picking flowers...I did way too much of that in skyrim and oblivion. Also, just think about how much this would change exploration. You would finally be able to interact with the objects in the world.

Once someone writes the software...


Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:40 pm
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