Facebook Hires Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra to Lead its Virtual Reality Division

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Facebook has hired Xiaomi executive Hugo Barra to lead its virtual reality business, following the vice president's announcement earlier this week that he would be leaving the Chinese smartphone maker.

On Monday, the former Android executive at Google said he would be returning to Silicon Valley next month to reunite with friends and family, and to take some time off before "embarking on a new adventure".


His appointment at Facebook was announced on Wednesday by company founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who said Barra would lead all of Facebook's virtual reality efforts including the Oculus team.
"I've known Hugo for a long time, starting when he helped develop the Android operating system, to the last few years he's worked at Xiaomi in Beijing bringing innovative devices to millions of people.

"Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform. Hugo is going to help build that future, and I'm looking forward to having him on our team."
Sometimes referred to as "the Apple of China", Xiaomi announced a VR headset last year under Barra's watch. The device was certified to work with Google Cardboard apps and some of its mobile phones. In reply to Zuckerberg's welcome, Barra said he aimed to make VR a mainstream technology.
Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun always says that the highest calling of an engineer is to make technology breakthroughs quickly and readily available to the widest possible spectrum of humanity. That will be my mission at Facebook and I look forward to building the future of immersive technology with Mark Zuckerberg, Brendan Trexler Iribe, Mike Schroepfer, and the visionaries in the Oculus team.
Facebook has made VR and augmented reality two focal points of its long-term innovation roadmap, with artificial intelligence and connectivity being the additional lynchpins for future research.

While Apple's interest in related technology has leaned more towards an AR experience - most recently suggesting a feature that would be integrated into the iOS camera app - the company has been rumored to be developing a full-on VR headset as well.

Article Link: Facebook Hires Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra to Lead its Virtual Reality Division
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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Xiaomi announced a VR headset last year under Barra's watch.
Barra said he aimed to make VR a mainstream technology.
I might end up being totally wrong about this, but I think that VR is going to end up being like 3DTVs, a niche product. I don't see the masses wanting to wear a VR headset, just like the masses not wanting to wear 3D glasses.
 

triton100

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Dec 15, 2010
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I might end up being totally wrong about this, but I think that VR is going to end up being like 3DTVs, a niche product. I don't see the masses wanting to wear a VR headset, just like the masses not wanting to wear 3D glasses.
People generally don't like putting things on their head. In it's present form with goggles it will always be niche.
 
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8692574

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*Reads comment*
*Reads signature*

Found the Xiaomi employee.
If only!!!!!

Juts because I own their stuff doesn't mean I work for them.... as a matter of fact my sig was updated less than a month ago, it was all Apple stuff since then.

I just found about them in November, and they make some really great products for the money !!(Changed my ATV4 and my iPhone 6, then came the watch...bought all of that from the reasale value of the iPhone 6 and not miccing anything so far...the miband was a filler till I got the watch..but the little bugger is great for 18 bucks!)

P.S. they do not even sell their stuff here, got them trought China.....and if I was working for them I would have a Mi Air :D!
 

gnipgnop

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Zuckerberg: I've got a problem Hugo. I don't really know what to do with this VR thing.
Barra: Nobody does.
Zuckerberg: What did you do with it at Xiaomi ?
Barra: Announced it so that we wouldn't look like we weren't doing it.
Zuckerberg: Is that it?
Barra: Pretty much.
Zuckerberg: Okay...how would you like to make big bucks as head of VR at Facebook?
Barra: Sure.
 

AngerDanger

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Mr. Dee

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You know why AI, AR, VR will all fail? Because there is no Steve Jobs to find a real world application to apply to. Silcon Valley is like a bunch of headless chickens right now with blood all over the place. Steve Jobs was never a nerd or geek, he was an entrepreneur/business man, who knew how to tell the best programmer you are stupid and you need to follow my instructions. Why am I going to wear a visor except for a few hours of recreational fun? Until all three of these immersive technologies become like my iPhone - I can't put it don't or leaving it at home feels like a missing limb - it will always remain a niche.

Anyway, we will just be using some faster smart phone, tablet and macbook pro in 2026 and still be hoping for something to change the industry that just never happens. If I'm proven wrong, great. The reality is Apple is coasting, Google is in chaos: Nest, Google Glass, Microsoft is doing stuff thats predictably good, Facebook is just trying every way to eliminate Snap Chat by mimicking every feature.
 

mdelvecchio

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So is Xiaomi now doomed? Or is only Apple DOOMed when there is turnover? Not many posts here...
 
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Fzang

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You know why AI, AR, VR will all fail? Because there is no Steve Jobs to find a real world application to apply to.
Alright. Hold your horses.

Pokémon Go and Siri are not the only valid use cases. A lot of behind-the-scenes never show itself to consumers.

Who knows what implications it could have for movie making, medical therapy, gaming, transport, etc.

Apple has upended several industries, but definitely not all of them.
 

8692574

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You know why AI, AR, VR will all fail? Because there is no Steve Jobs to find a real world application to apply to.
HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH. let's close internet, we have a winner here, funniest comment in the whole net!!

How did the world progress before him is a mistery!
 

Relentless Power

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I might end up being totally wrong about this, but I think that VR is going to end up being like 3DTVs, a niche product. I don't see the masses wanting to wear a VR headset, just like the masses not wanting to wear 3D glasses.
I personally don't care for Virtual Reality, but it's early to say where this leads, being this is so new and in development. I think it has lots of room for advancement, but to what extent and when does it plateau.
 

BrianKonarsMac

macrumors 65816
Apr 28, 2004
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So is Xiaomi now doomed? Or is only Apple DOOMed when there is turnover? Not many posts here...
Probably not many posts here since, as far as I can tell, this has nothing to do with Apple. Also, Xiaomi hasn't been doing so well lately so this is relatively expected. When your company is one of the most profitable on earth, but relatively senior people are abandoning ship by the score, you have to wonder why right?
 

Mr. Dee

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Alright. Hold your horses.

Pokémon Go and Siri are not the only valid use cases. A lot of behind-the-scenes never show itself to consumers.

Who knows what implications it could have for movie making, medical therapy, gaming, transport, etc.

Apple has upended several industries, but definitely not all of them.
The last I check, the sensation was over the minute it started with Pokemon Go. Siri and other digital assistants have been confirmed to be gimmicks. Majority of users use them for 10 minutes then never again. When you talk about life changing as the smartphone and specifically the iPhone, Graphical User Interface, Macintosh has been - AI, VR and AR have been around for decades and even at their advanced state have not impacted the world.