Seminar Talk 2013-11-20

The Oculus Rift and the Resurgence of Virtual Reality

laird_malamed_headshot_large steve_lavalle_hs

Laird Malamed, Chief Operating Officer
Steve LaValle, Principal Scientist
Oculus VR

Click here for video.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 – 5:00-6:30pm
Donald Bren Hall, Room 4011 (Bldg. 314) at UC Irvine

Seating is limited.
Email RSVP is requested at

It has been an exciting adventure as we race to bring the consumer version of the Oculus Rift VR headset into widespread use for games, cinema, therapy, virtual travel, and so on. Palmer Luckey’s original prototype demonstrated that smartphone-based advances in display and sensing technology enable a lightweight, high field-of-view VR experience that is affordable by the masses. This talk will provide some historical perspective on our company and its vision for future products. It will also highlight some of the ongoing technical challenges, including game development and accurate head tracking. Although VR has been researched for decades, many exciting new challenges arise because of the ever-changing technology and the rising demand for new kinds of VR content.

About the Speakers:
Steven LaValle is principal scientist at Oculus VR, Inc. He is an roboticist and a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is best known for his work on algorithms for rapidly exploring random trees (RRT), and his book on Planning Algorithms, one of the most highly cited texts in the field. In 2012, he was one of seven faculty named as a “University Scholar” at UIUC for 2012-2014.

Laird Malamed is Chief Operating Officer of Oculus VR, Inc, the leading personal virtual reality hardware company, and he is a 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry. He was Sr. Vice President and head of development at Activision Blizzard overseeing software, hardware and manufacturing for products such as Guitar Hero, Call of Duty and Skylanders. He is also a Part Time Lecturer at the USC School of Cinematic Arts where he attended graduate school and has consulted in the K-12 Education space since 2011 about issues of sustainability. He earned a joint BS degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering and Film & Media Studies.