Oculus VR Snags Top Googler to Work on Consumer Rift

Oculus Rift is probably one of the most impressive pieces of wearable tech so far. No surprise, then, that it's attracting some major talent. According to the latest reports, the Oculus allure was enough to snag Googler Adrian Wong.

Wong is (or was, rather) lead electrical engineer at Google and his LinkedIn profile states that he held the position of senior hardware engineer for the Glass Explorer program. Wong had also apparently been working on the systems, camera and RF for the consumer version of Google Glass. It looks like that's what caught Oculus VR's attention, as it sounds like he'll be working on the consumer version of Rift. Wong updated his Facebook on May 2 to let his friends know he was leaving Google, but it wasn't until last night that his new position at Oculus was revealed.

"Two weeks have passed, and here we are in sunny Southern California," he wrote last night. "Love the new team here and so excited to be helping build what Michael Abrash is calling 'The Final Platform'."

Though he hasn't provided any additional details (his LinkedIn profile lists his current position as 'Professional Daydreamer' at Oculus VR), his experience in taking an unfinished product and polishing it to the point where it's ready for mass market will no doubt be invaluable for Oculus Rift. The peripheral is thought to be launching at the end of this year, or next year, which means Wong has time to make some serious changes before the device goes to market. Though we'd obviously like to think that Oculus will be ready for consumers before 2015, the fact that Oculus is hiring specifically for the consumer experience is really good news.

The news of Wong's defection from Google also demonstrates how Facebook's acquisition of Oculus is affording the company opportunities that it might not otherwise have had. Though an awful lot of people were very upset when Oculus announced the news, the VR company can obviously do a lot more with Facebook bank rolling operations.

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  • Blessedman
    Last I heard was Oculus was going to require an external camera to track motion on the helm. Why would they not add a B&W low MP camera to the unit itself to work almost like a mouse does? Taking a 1000 snapshots a second and seeing how each tracking pixel compares from one frame to the next, This seems like a much simpler and easier solution.
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  • Spanky Deluxe
    The DK2 does use an external camera and there are LEDs on the rift itself so the camera can detect position. It basically works just like the Wiimote and the Wii sensor bar except the other way round. If they'd put the camera on the Rift itself not only would it add bulk but it would also need an external LED unit (like the sensor bar) anyway. You can't just detect the changes from one frame to the next because you don't know how far away things in the camera are, how reflective they are etc.
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  • house70
    Next thing you hear of, will be how Oculus got some proprietary code and/or hardware "borrowed" from Glass. It already got into hot water with Carmack not long ago.
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