Former Valve VR lead engineer joins Oculus as chief architect

Oculus has announced the appointment of VR veteran Atman Binstock as its new chief architect.

The company announced the new hire today in a post on its blog, adding that Binstock’s first task will be to put together a research and development team based in the Seattle area.

Binstock was a lead engineer on Valve’s VR project, and previously served as project lead for several companies including Intel, DICE and RAD.

He explains in a statement that his moving on from Valve to Oculus is a natural transition in the continuing effort to further VR:

"Just over two years ago, [Valve’s ] Michael Abrash and I were sitting in a coffee shop in Kirkland. He was trying to convince me to come work on AR and VR with him at Valve," Binstock said. "At the time, I was trying to wrap my head around two questions: ‘Why me?’ and ‘Why now?’ Michael did a good job of explaining that a confluence of technologies was developing that could make compelling virtual experiences possible, but I still wrestled with ‘Why me?’ After all, if the technology was really ready, surely people more capable than me would figure it out.

"But Michael convinced me that this was basically the myth of technological inevitability: the idea that because technologies were possible, they would just naturally happen. Instead, the way technological revolutions actually happen involve smart people working hard on the right problems at the right time. And if I wanted a revolution, and I thought I was capable of contributing, I should be actively pushing it forward.

I signed up. Two years later, we’ve solved some of the basic problems, proven great VR is not only possible but truly magical, and now I want to bring it to the world. I’m incredibly excited and humbled by the opportunity — We’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible, and I can’t wait to discover what’s next!”

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