Virtual reality company Oculus is bringing your hands into the third dimension with its new Touch controllers.
“So now you actually look down and you see your hands just where they really are in physical space, you see them in the virtual world,” Oculus co-founder and CEO Brendan Iribe said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.” “And you can interact with objects, you can wave and gesture, you can climb a wall – it really allows you to interact in a whole new dimension in virtual reality.”
The initial application for Oculus Touch is gaming, he said.
“So right away, you’re going to have a lot of enthusiasts and hard-core gamers who are going to jump in. And this is the holy grail for gamers,” Iribe said. “You put on a headset, you grab your controllers and suddenly, you are teleported into that game, you’re teleported into the climbing experience where you’re climbing up a huge cliff and you’re looking down and you feel like you’re truly there. This is what many gamers have been dreaming about for decades.”
There’s also room for creativity.
“You can do sculpting with Medium. You can do – Quill has a paintbrush application where you can paint in VR. And Kingspray is a graffiti application where you actually go and graffiti and you take off the headset and you didn’t actually graffiti any walls,” Iribe said.
Iribe, whose company was bought by Facebook for $2 billion in March 2014, is convinced VR is “the next big computing platform.”
“One of the things that we talk about is the race to 3D scan Earth now. So if you think about the video camera, it is the ideal device to capture the world for 2D screens. … But in VR, we have a full, three-dimensional, 360-experience. So we now need to start capturing scenes in full, 360, three-dimensions,” he said. “And that’s going to allow us to put on a headset and teleport to any museum, to any location and be face to face with other people. So imagine you could put on a pair of glasses, go to London with your best friend.”
Iribe, who dropped out of University of Maryland during his freshman year, is also giving back to the school, which broke ground for The Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Innovation in April. He donated $31 million for the computer science building and $1 million for a set of scholarships, he said.
“When I went back to University of Maryland, to Hackathon, we were touring the campus, and went back to the old computer science building, the same building when I was there nearly 20 years ago,” Iribe said. “And I thought, it would be really inspiring for students to have a new center, to have a really modern computer science center. And we got talking, and nobody had made a donation for computer science in several decades, so it felt like the right time.”