Technology expert Hugo Barra to join Facebook Inc. to supervise the virtual-reality platform which includes the Oculus VR team. This former executive at Google has left Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. this week. He will be entitled at Facebook as vice president of virtual reality, Oculus.
After a rocky year for Oculus, Mr. Barra joining will be a sign of recovery. Oculus Chief Executive Brendan Iribe has stepped down from his post to lead a division within Oculus. However, Barra’s role in Facebook will expand beyond Oculus and include all of Facebook’s VR efforts. Facebook is now working on VR to work on smartphones as well. On the other hand, it is also working on a stand-alone VR device which doesn’t require a mobile phone or personal computer to work.
“Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform. They’ll enable us to experience completely new things and be more creative than ever before.” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
“It’s been a dream of mine to work in virtual reality even back when AR/VR were just figments of science fiction; now we’re taking selfies in virtual worlds,” Barra replied on Zuckerberg’s Facebook post.
Oculus introduced its debut device, the Rift virtual-reality goggles in the earlier year. While the fact is that, the device needs tethering with a powerful, pricey computer to work. The goggles faced higher competition from products by the likes of Sony Corp and HTC Corp. In addition, higher-than-expected price and shipping problems affected the launch.
Barra was recruited to Xiaomi from Google, back in 2013, where he was product head for Android mobile operating system. He mentioned his wish to return Silicon Valley when resigning Xiaomi this week and declined to say where he was going.