Facebook is gathering a team of experts to work on the development of their latest acquisitions, Oculus VR, and to begin the project “Metaverse”. The newest addition to the team, is one of Google’s best-trained and most experienced engineers, Adrian Wong.
After working a while at Sandia National Laboratories, in 2010 Adrian joined Google to work on the development of Glass, and he was a lead electrical engineer on the device when he left the company. So, even though his Google+ profile still list him as a “professional dreamer”, Google[x] is a matter of the past for him.
The shift is so recent that he didn’t have the time to update all his social profiles: for instance, LinkedIn confirms his move, but the Google+ profile still lists Google X as current employer. This was predictable though, as on the 2nd of May, Adrian posted a goodbye message on his Facebook Wall saying that after three years with Glass and Google, that was his last day in the Google X. However, he didn’t say exactly what his next adventure would be, and when asked, he refused to make any official statement. But now the word is out, and apparently Adrian Wong will be joining Facebook to develop devices that would enable virtual realities.
It is more than obvious that he was the right man for the Oculus project. While looking through his experience, we got to learn that he is one of the big geniuses behind Google Glass. His time within Sandia Labs made AngelList characterize him as an ex-spy gadget developer for the US government. LinkedIn shows us that as a Senior Hardware Engineering at Google he was working on end-to-end prototyping, HDI PCB layouts and display subsystem design, and after passing to Hardware Engineering Manager he got to deal with systems, camera development and RF for consumer edition version for Glass.
When you think about all his experience and accomplishments within Google, you realize that the search giant lost a very important employee. In the present, Adrian Wong holds around 10 patents and a big number of them are related to Glass; among those we can list “Unlocking a screen using eye tracking information”, “Wearable Computer with Superimposed Controls and Instructions for External Device”, “Wearable Computer with Nearby Object Response” and “Method to Autofocus on Near-Eye Display”. These achievements, as well as his Masters Degree in computer and electrical engineering at Cornell University will definitely prove valuable in his future work with virtual reality.
One of the most important things in virtual reality devices is not to give nauseas or head aches when used on longer periods, and we believe Wong’s expertise could really help in preventing that from happening. Also, he could make wonders with the design of the Oculus Rift VR headset.
By gathering people that have Adrian Wong abilities and skills, Oculus will definitely start growing fast from its Kickstarted startup status, especially now that the project is being supported by one of the biggest companies in the world. It is more than obvious that Facebook money were behind the acquisition of Wong, considering the counter offers Google is able to make, when it comes to valuable staff. In other matters, Facebook is letting Oculus operate and develop itself independently.
When Facebook bought Oculus, there were lots of discussions on the longevity of the project. But after CEO Brendan Iribe said that their move convinced other big companies to start developing software and hardware for Oculus, it is obvious that it’s longevity is no longer an issue. The most important thing and what probably also drawn Wong to the project is its potential of becoming the next huge computing platform and not just another hipster gaming device.