Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

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MSat
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Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by MSat »

As far as I can tell, he has been extremely influential in maturing the Oculus tech to where it is today despite working at Valve. This is excellent news, and the team at Oculus just gets more and more impressive, so I can't help but to be really excited for things to come. What does this mean for Valve, though? It did seem a bit weird for them to be doing their own in-house research, while not seemingly being interested in producing their own hardware. I'm guessing this won't have any impact on VR for Steam which was done by other members at Valve, but given that Gabe kept pushing for Michael to join their team, hopefully his departure was on good terms.

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by FR3D »

what is happening @ valve ?

Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson are leaving Valve to start castAR @ kickstarter

Atman Binstock and Michael Abrash move to oculus ...
best regards FR3D

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by Falan »

Its beautiful!

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by Kra »

FR3D wrote:what is happening @ valve ?

Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson are leaving Valve to start castAR @ kickstarter

Atman Binstock and Michael Abrash move to oculus ...

History.

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by JonR »

FR3D wrote:what is happening @ valve ?

Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson are leaving Valve to start castAR @ kickstarter

Atman Binstock and Michael Abrash move to oculus ...
Valve is realizing that they won't need their own VR department. Kind of the same reason why there won't be a Valve made Steammachine. Valve has never been a hardware company, and doesn't want to start making hardware unless there's no other option.

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by colocolo »

one of the biggest critics on the VR enthusiasts side now on boat. haha
How much bigger than TV is VR?
hopefully VR wont lead to a worldwide panic like in Independence day. :lol:

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by OzOnE2k10 »

Just got the e-mail too.

This can only be good news, and opens everything up to the World of AR.

The news post also might put some minds at rest regarding Facebook...

http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=88d ... 929a76ca77

These aren't the type of people to be easily swayed by Facebook into doing something they are uncomfortable with, and the big cash injection will mean that VR has finally broken through after all these years.

I'm starting to see the light! :D

(Damn, you guys beat me to it about the castAR thing. lol)

All we need now is for "Face-ulus" to join forces with (former Valve) Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson of Technical Illusions / castAR...
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/te ... -vr-system

Then maybe they could get the genius known as Ben Krasnow onboard, and they'd have possibly the brightest and most creatively talented staff in computing history. lol
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF3V-GH ... lT_eXlj9ti


I'm going from slightly miserable a few days ago (Facebook), to being far more enthusiastic again today.

Only other thing I would say is - it would be nice if Oculus could now pay back some of the $2.4 Million to the Kickstarter backers as a gesture of good will...
http://www.businessinsider.com/oculus-k ... ing-2014-3

This would be pocket money for them at this point tbh, and would help restore faith in them as a company who supports their supporters.
At risk of sounding like I'm jumping on the "$2-Billion dollar bandwagon", surely it makes sense to give back to the people who made all of this possible in the first place?

OzOnE.

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by braddas »

It's my understanding that while Valve are experimenting in VR (and doing well by all accounts), they don't intend do release their own hardware. Not short-term, anyway. They're fully supportive of VR though, and are building the VR experience right into Steam. Abrash seems pretty well versed in the various technical problems and I think he was in regular communication with Oculus anyway, so going to work for them makes a lot of sense.

Either that or it's corporate espionage... :P
Currently working on Flagship - a first-person RTS for the Oculus Rift.

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by MSat »

Ah, Ben Krasnow. The guy who built his own electron microscope. He'd probably be the guy to build the brain jack.

While I'm not *against* Oculus throwing another bone to KS backers, such as a complimentary CV when it comes out (that would be sweeeet), I don't think it's unfair at all if they don't. It's sad because even if they did that, some people would certainly spin the gesture as an attempt to shut up their critics. The fact that this deal will mean a better AND cheaper consumer version is a reward in itself. Nevermind the fact that overall, the devkit turned out to be better than initially promised with some nice touches thrown in.

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by OzOnE2k10 »

I guess so, MSat.

I know they have no real obligation to give any direct rewards to the backers.

It just sounded like a nice idea because a Kickstarter kind of feels like a chance for people to get involved in a smaller venture in the hopes that it will one day make it big.

It's just all happened so fast, and with such a giant company (FB) that I think many people are still in shock (me included).

But, to keep things in perspective, yes it's a LOT of money that most of us could only dream about, but it's still not as big as some of Facebook's other recent acquisitions.

Maybe it's one of those psychological "fanboy" things where some of us are clinging on to the notion of being part of Oculus' humble beginnings?

(I say "fanboy" loosely, as I don't always agree with the term.)

It's also because it felt like Palmer was / is "one of us" - a VR enthusiast, but surely one of the most enthusiastic. ;)
So, when someone like FB came along to do a complete buy-out, it felt like we were loosing that "kid in his parents' garage" thing to corporate sponsors.

In other words, a lot of us were living vicariously through Palmer - we were all routing for him as if we were the ones following his fantastic path in life.

There have of course been the other big VC investments into Oculus, but nothing on this scale.
Oh well, it's gonna be great fun no matter what.

I still won't be tempted to go for alternative products from the likes of Sony / MS / Apple, that's for sure.
Face-Oculus would have to do something pretty damned bad to put me off their great innovations.

Looking forward to getting my DK2, and then the much-touted CV1 when it lands.

btw, that open letter from Abrash was a great read - I strongly recommend it.

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by MSat »

@Ozone

Look at it this way: we didn't just kickstart the Rift, but the rebirth and legitimization of VR. We wanted it to be big with a vast array of great hardware to choose from as well as wide software support, and not just relegate it to some niche novelty. This facebook deal will ensure that it happens. Even if facebook manages to ruin it somewhere down the road (which won't happen for at least a couple consumer version generations), the ball will be rolling and Oculus won't be the only game in town. After all, look how many "me too" Rift knock-offs keep on popping up or are at least being proposed. In a way, we helped kickstart all of that, and not just the Rift. From our standpoint, there's nothing more we could have wanted or asked for, IMO. VR will be bigger than just Oculus, and at least for now, I'm happy to have been a part of making virtual reality a real reality, and you should be too. ;)

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by yautjacetanu »

I think the tested.com guys said it well. The kickstarters have made this happen where palmer, carmack, abrash, etc are in charge. We (though i just got a dev kit just after the kickstarter) gave palmer the ability to dictate the terms to the VCs. Oculus were ALWAYS going to get VCs and then get bought out but without kickstarter the VCs would have dictated the terms, forced palmer out and then run it to the ground.

I'm so excited by Abrash. I'm kind of living vicariously through him now! Being a small garage band is kind of cool. But getting the band back together, carmac and abrash, thrashing through engineering problems now with a way bigger stage and unlimited money. It must be so exciting!

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by OzOnE2k10 »

MSat wrote:@Ozone... From our standpoint, there's nothing more we could have wanted or asked for, IMO. VR will be bigger than just Oculus, and at least for now, I'm happy to have been a part of making virtual reality a real reality, and you should be too. ;)
Yeah, I'm coming round to the idea now. It's just that it happened to be Facebook, and it was so unexpected, especially since Oc hadn't even shipped their first commercial product.

It is indeed a great thing for VR. It's just that people are rightly worried about Zuckerberg's real intentions.

There have been a fair number of these small company buy-outs in the past that haven't ended so well, but all signs so far is that Oculus is now just under the Facebook "umbrella", and will be left to do what they do best.

@yautjacetanu - I never thought of it like that really - at least we can be extremely grateful that Palmer is still very much a part of Oculus, and that we still have chance to bow down to the gaming God known as Carmack. :)

I don't know a huge amount about Abrash tbh, apart from his roots at Microsoft / Valve, and from watching the first talks at GDC etc.
It sounds like he is fairly popular though, and is genuinely passionate about making cool VR / AR stuff happen in the best possible way.

Very true to say that the guys are all together now. I'm starting to feel the excitement again from when I watched all of those vids with Palmer / Carmack / Abrash, and Carmack's fantastic keynote speech...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gaqQdyfAz8

(honestly, I'm pretty sure I watched this entire thing one night. He's fascinating to listen to if you like the technical stuff)...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt-iVFxgFWk


Ok, let's just start having fun again. 8-)
In reality (no pun intended), nothing much has changed at the core of Oculus and their beliefs in driving VR forward for the masses.

Oculus was / is the one reason I wanted to get back into gaming tbh.
I used to be quite into PC / console gaming years ago, but not so much in the past ten years.

My DK1 purchase, and the excitement of Palmer's success was the very reason I bought a brand-new Core i5 PC with a GTX 670 last year.
I bought it pretty much specifically for Rift stuff, and for use with the DK1 and other headsets / periphs that may arise.

There's a lot to be said for the dream for decent VR.
The desire is still strong, and can only get stronger from now on. :D

OzOnE.

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by Leahy »

colocolo wrote:one of the biggest critics on the VR enthusiasts side now on boat. haha
How much bigger than TV is VR?
hopefully VR wont lead to a worldwide panic like in Independence day. :lol:
Funny you say that, I was thinking that VR to TV will be roughly what TV was to radio. What was that radio story that scared the crap out of everyone thinking it real aliens invading or some sort?

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by colocolo »

OzOnE2k10 wrote:War Of The Worlds (H G Wells). ;)

http://history1900s.about.com/od/1930s/ ... worlds.htm
LOL!

That reminds of some weird news i saw here in Germany on ProSieben at 7pm years ago.
Very, very weird, but true! They honestly reported that somewhere in Japan or so a child was born and then instantaneously grew to an adult and suddenly died. I was really shocked how crazy those media guys are. It was so absurd that u didnt believed it from the first second. The message was short and they also showed a weird picture.... :|

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Re: Michael Abrash joins Oculus!

Post by cybereality »

It's great to have Abrash on board. Thing are just getting more and more exciting every day.

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