Oculus swoops for Valve VR engineer

Oculus swoops for Valve VR engineer
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

March 11th 2014 at 5:35PM

Atman Binstock leading R&D team at new Seattle base

Oculus has hired one of the lead engineers behind Valve's virtual reality research as its chief architect.

Atman Binstock will lead the Oculus R&D team at the company's newly formed Seattle office.

The former Valve engineer has been credited with helping overcome simulator sickness from virtual reality hardware as well as making the tech closer to a feasible consumer product.

As well as working at Valve, Binstock as also worked at DICE and Intel.

“Just over two years ago, 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," said Binstock.

"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."