Michael Abrash, the virtual reality chief of Vave Software, has quite the Steam OS maker and joined Oculus as the chief VR scientist. Michael Abrash is one of the most notable personalities in the VR world and had been working on Valve’s take on VR, solving problems like low persistence, excellent tracking, and a well-calibrated and well-tuned system enabled presence. Abrash had joined Valve back in 2011 having worked as a developer at Microsoft, working on Windows NT and then at Id Software, working on Quake. He has been instrumental in resurrecting “VR from the trash heap of technologies-that-never-were and make it the most exciting technology around.” So when such a big shot in the technology that holds the promise to be the next big step in the computing world does something unthinkable, makes head turn.
While Oculus fans are upset with Oculus’ purcahse, Abrash believes that Facebook acquiring Oculus is actually in VR’s interest. He says that although the community has been instrumental in getting the Kickstarter off the ground, the amount of capital and the time or effort needed to truly make VR reach that potential that is expected of VR cannot be provided by crowd funding. What it truly needed was a longer runway in terms of funding, hard engineering and effort that only a big company can provide.
“The final piece of the puzzle fell into place on Tuesday. A lot of what it will take to make VR great is well understood at this point, so it’s engineering, not research; hard engineering, to be sure, but clearly within reach. For example, there are half a dozen things that could be done to display panels that would make them better for VR, none of them pie in the sky. However, it’s expensive engineering. And, of course, there’s also a huge amount of research to do once we reach the limits of current technology, and that’s not only expensive, it also requires time and patience – fully tapping the potential of VR will take decades. That’s why 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.” Abrash was found as saying.
According to Abrash, VR is not just the next platform, but rather it is The Platform that will End All Platforms. So it is imperative that VR isn’t restricted in any sort and is allowed to expand fully.
While the anger of the backers on Kickstarter does seem justifiable, so does Abrash’s arguments. But out of the two who truly is correct can only be told with time. Until then it is too early to pick a side. But whatever happens, be sure to keep an eye out here as we cover the latest development in the VR field as and when they come out.
Source: Oculus Blog