Carmack spearheading Oculus on mobile

"We have our strategy focused on the PC and mobile" says Iribe

A recent interview with the Oculus VR chief executive has revealed just how the company is putting its team of experienced engineers to work and why it welcomes competition in the virtual reality space.

"At this point there's more than 50 of us in the company, and the majority of us are engineers. We have a team of real senior, rock star engineers. Of course, Carmack is at the top," Brendan Iribe told GamesBeat.

"He's been spearheading a lot of the mobile effort, working with a group of talented engineers on that. He largely works out of the Dallas office. Most of the engineers, though, are in Irvine here, working remotely with John. There's a handful of other developers in Dallas that John is working with."

He added that the team was trying to respect Carmack's working style, which is based around extreme focus and problem solving.

The company has just received $75 million in funding in a series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz, and will spend the money developing the consumer unit of the Oculus Rift. In the interview Iribe joked he would naturally like to see that unit sell two million units in its first few days on sale, and said the company was confident when it came to fulfilling consumer demand.

He also spoke about competition, something Palmer Luckey also mentioned in his interview with GamesIndustry International in August. Iribe, like Luckey, welcomes it.

"There will be a handful of big companies, we hope, that get into this. We hope their technology pushes the ball forward. Competition makes for better products for the consumer, usually. As long as nobody does anything too crazy and everyone just tries to deliver the best product possible, it's going to be a lot of fun to see what other companies come up with."

"We have a few partners we've been working closely with. We have our strategy focused on the PC and mobile. In our vision, that's where VR needs to be. It's going to be an exciting time. All we hope is that, much like Valve-What we all hope is that the VR of the future is really good. What we don't want to see is bad experiences. We want comfortable breakthrough experiences."

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Latest comments (7)

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 4 years ago
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 4 years ago
Might as well duct tape a mobile phone to my face and cross the street and wait for the bus blindly... sounds cool... to look at other people do it anyway.... Hell a trip in the new york city train would be cool as I have a virtual reality mobile phone strapped to my face..... while i get mugged.

VR needs to be someplace safe, if your gonna have a piece of hardware strapped to your face. Mobile really doesnt make sense for VR. However it makes sense for AR applications...

We are at least 100 years behind when it comes to the type of virtual reality we see in The Matrix, Star trek or Sword Art Online.

Thats virtual mobile reality Reality for ya!
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Edited 1 times. Last edit by kevin williams on 17th December 2013 5:58pm

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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises4 years ago
Isn't it around ten years too soon for mobile phones to be using Oculus? The games won't look very good compared to what PCs, PS4 and XB1 can do. And your phones battery won't let you play for very long.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
@Craig: Just long enough for the bus Rick will be driving to "accidentally" swerve towards you, heh.

Anyway, that's were wearable tech comes into play. Imagine this: Some guy walking down the block with a Google Glass Rift Goggle, solar panels on his hat and jacket to keep the battery going (and him and his coffee or tea warm or cool depending on the weather), rear view mirrors on the side of the goggles and a built in alarm to keep him alerted for thieves and traffic.

His phone has airbags in case it's dropped and he's wearing those Nike sneaks that track his every step and send that info into his smart watch pants with the screen on the belt buckle.

Back in the day, that guy had thick glasses, a pocket protector, a TI scientific calculator, wore ill-fitting clothes and got picked on by anyone less smart than he was. Today's he's king of the virtual world with a walking "holodeck" in his hands. Progress?
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Morgan King Animator 4 years ago
I don't think the premise of developing mobile Android support for the Rift is for walking around and using it (obviously, right?). I'm pretty sure its so that it can be used in places that aren't within a few feet of a desktop PC. While mobile devices might not have the horsepower (today, at least), they can surely run, say, the theater app, and working on mobile devices could allow for the Rift to operate on, for example, an airplane. It makes it far easier to bring the experiences of the Rift to a friend's house, too - given the huge push towards mobile casual games and Rift's (so far) predilection towards 'experiences,' eventually combining the two seems rather well-reasoned to me.
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Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ4 years ago
Tablets are "mobile devices", and actually have rather good battery life (up to 10 hours of use).
I think Oculus makes a lot of sense for tablets, and even mobile phones. Just makes me want one even more. :)
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