Facebook hires former Apple designer Michael Hillman to take charge of VR hardware at Oculus
Facebook is taking on Michael Hillman — a person with 15 years at Apple, including key work on the company's Mac desktops — as the head of hardware at its Oculus VR division.
While at Apple, Hillman started as a lead designer on the iMac then rose through several other jobs before taking charge of desktops in general, Bloomberg noted. Prior to joining Oculus, Hillman worked as a VP at a self-driving vehicle startup, Zoox.
Oculus is best known for the Rift, one of the first VR headsets aimed a consumer audience. It also makes the more limited Gear VR headset for Samsung smartphones.
While generally well-reviewed, the Rift and its main competition — the HTC Vive — have so far been limited to a niche audience, owing to high pricetags and steep requirements, such as a powerful PC and enough standing space to move around. Oculus has in fact side-stepped Mac development, since no current Mac is powerful enough to support the Rift.
The company has developed a prototype of an untethered device, nicknamed "Santa Cruz," but it's not clear when a finished version might ship. In the meantime Oculus and HTC alike might benefit from developments such as improved wireless HDMI, since their headsets still depend on wired connections.