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March 28, 2017

Facebook hires Apple veteran to lead Oculus VR hardware efforts

Michael Hillman assumed several managerial roles in Apple.

By CBR Staff Writer

Facebook has hired Apple veteran Michael Hillman to head the virtual reality (VR) hardware division at its subsidiary Oculus.

At Oculus, Hillman will work closely alongside chief operating officer Hans Hartman to galvanise the hardware effort.

During his 15 year stint at Apple, Hillman handled many of the tech giant’s iconic products after starting as lead iMac designer. He served in many managerial roles before assuming the role of chief architect of all Apple desktop computers, Bloomberg reported.

In the latter part of his career at Apple, he worked on a confidential hardware role.

Hillman is another notable hiring by Oculus, following Hugo Barra from Xiaomi. Facebook believes that virtual reality has huge potential as the next major platform for computing.

Though the company is looking to push ahead with its hardware effort, it will have to compete with other players who have better experience in this domain.

Oculus’ present products include the Rift headset and controller, as well as the Gear VR attachment for Samsung phones.

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The company is looking to grab a major share in the VR market by taking virtual reality mainstream, which includes offering virtual reality experience to PC consumers.

READ MORE: Oculus price drop sees $200 cut from VR headset and controller

Oculus has already developed a prototype, code named Santa Cruz. But, the company did not disclose whether it will mass produce the device in the near term.

Oculus released the Rift headset one year ago, dealing with several delays caused by manufacturing issues.

These delays have led to quite a bit of anger among its early customers. It also released the Touch motion controllers for the Rift in December and recently, slashed the prices of both the controllers and headset by $100.

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