There’s a new face heading up Facebook’s AR/VR hardware division.
Rafa Camargo has jumped from his previous role as VP of Facebook’s Portal team to VP, AR/VR Hardware. Camargo confirmed the news on Twitter. He added that he’ll be helping to launch the new Oculus Quest standalone headset. VP AR/VR at Facebook, Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth and VP VR Hugo Barra still remain in their roles and welcomed Camargo to the team.
Excited to announce that I’ll be leading Hardware for AR/VR at @facebook …and would like to welcome Ryan Cairns, who will now lead Portal. Launching @portalfacebook with the team was an amazing experience and I look forward to launching @Oculus Quest and more
— Rafa Camargo (@rafa_camargo)
Oculus, which Facebook acquired in 2014, already has a Director of Hardware in Caitlin Kalinowski. We’re not sure if Kalinowski retains her role with this announcement, but we’ve reached out to Oculus to ask.
In the same tweet, Camargo also confirmed that former Google AR/VR engineering lead Ryan Cairns was taking over his previous role. Portal is working on new Facebook technologies, including AR and VR hardware. As reported by TechCrunch , Facebook’s further-out R&D division, Reality Labs, remains intact and is still headed up by Michael Abrash.
These updates come after a transitional time for Facebook’s VR division. In November 2018 Oculus CEO and co-founder Brendan Iribe parted ways with the company. There’s also plenty of rumors about what Facebook is planning for the future of VR hardware. Late last year we heard reports that the company is planning an incremental update to the Oculus Rift headset, tentatively dubbed Oculus Rift S. We likely won’t hear any official confirmation about that project until this year’s Oculus Connect developer conference, though.
The First Commercial VR Devices – The EyePhone Head-Mounted Displays. In the late 1960s, the virtual and augmented reality terms were coined, describing the field of technology we know today. This also encompassed the appearance of two of the very first commercial virtual reality devices in the 1980s in the face of the EyePhone 1 and the EyePhone HRX. Developed by VPL research, a company by Jaron Lanier, the devices were extremely expensive, costing as much as $9,400 for the 1 version and $49,000 for the HRX. Customers could also buy gloves that costed $9,000. While the devices didn’t really take off, which is understanding, having in mind their price, they were a major step forward in the development of virtual reality haptics and virtual reality goggles and head-mounted displays.