Known for being Europe’s biggest technology conference, the Dublin Web Summit (November 4th-6th 2014) proudly announces several diverse and innovative leaders to join the 2014 Featured Speaker lineup. Among those featured speakers is Brendan Iribe, CEO & co-founder of Oculus VR.
CEO & co-founder of Oculus VR.
Brendan Iribe became a successful entrepreneur even though he didn’t finish his degree at University of Maryland. It was during his freshman year that he met his future business partner Michael Antonov.
After leaving University of Maryland, Brendan Iribe worked as a software programmer, developing the user interface for the Civilization IV video game. He and Antonov then co-founded Scaleform, a technology firm that let developers more easily convert video games to mobile platforms. That company sold for $36 million in 2011. Brendan Iribe then went to Gaikai ,a company that let people stream video games, which was purchased by Sony for $380 million in 2012.
Brendan Iribe and Michael Antonov co-founded Oculus VR with Palmer Luckey in 2012, working to develop “immersive virtual reality” such as the Oculus Rift, technology that lets users interact with a virtual world through a wearable headset. Michael Antonov is the company’s chief software architect.
Brendan is paving the way for future generations of potential technology innovators by donating $31 million dollars to the University of Maryland.
“The University of Maryland was an inspiration for me, and the relationships I made there have lasted a lifetime,” Brendan Iribe said. “I’ve always wanted to give back to the school and public education system, and I hope this building will shape the future of computer science students at the university. The space is designed for hackers, makers and engineers, which will help give rise to future breakthroughs, products and start-ups that will transform the way we live and interact with the world around us.”
My first experience with Oculus Rift was when I took part in the ‘ascend the wall’ virtual reality experience as part of the Game of Thrones exhibition earlier this year in Belfast. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect as my previous experience with virtual reality technology never lived up to expectations but I thought I might as well give this Oculus Rift experience a go. As I queued up and watched the reactions of those currently taking part, I wondered if I would also join them in clinging on for dear life to the handle bars provided in each booth. When I finally stepped into the booth and anticipated what may happen, I was told that I couldn’t wear my glasses. Just my luck that I’m going on a virtual reality experience and I’m not going to be able to see anything but blurry shapes. Armed without a 20:20 vision I embarked on my journey up the wall and then a funny thing happened. I knew what I was seeing wasn’t real but my body thought it might as well be. Utilizing other special effects such as wind helped with the illusion that you where being ascended up a mountain on a lift. The most surprising aspect was that even without my glasses I could still see and feel my surroundings perfectly thanks to a little adjustment with my Oculus VR headset.
Oculus VR is playing it smart marketing wise by incorporating their technology with successful TV shows to create unique experiences for their fans. When I was at San Diego International Comic Con this year there were several Oculus Rift experiences available including Pacific Rim, Game of Thrones, Sleepy Hollow and X-Men.
It will be interesting to see how Oculus VR will maintain and develop their technology for the future after successfully selling their company to Facebook for $2 billion dollars this year. Brendan’s featured panel at Dublin Web Summit this November will provide a fascinating insight into the world of virtual reality in this current generation and what the future holds for Oculus VR.
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