John Carmack talks turkey on and in VR at this year’s Meta Connect
John Carmack’s VR talks are famous for their honesty and unsparing criticism. At Connect 2022, Meta’s most important XR consultant will probably not mince words either. This time, he will speak in VR for the first time.
Developer legend John Carmack made a name for himself with early 3D works such as Doom and Quake. Later, he laid the technical foundations for the Kickstarter success of the Oculus Rift. He relinquished his role as Oculus CTO in 2019 to devote himself to the development of artificial general intelligence.
As a consultant, he still spends one day a week supporting the further development of Meta’s virtual reality platforms. This includes the Meta Quest 2 or the upcoming Project Cambria headset. Carmack is also expected to speak about the challenges of VR at this year’s Connect event: In a tweet, he confirmed an unscripted talk he will give for the first time in virtual reality.
Carmack’s behind-the-scenes look at Meta’s metaverse strategy
“I don’t know how many other presenters are doing it, but my unscripted talk will be in VR this year!” Carmack states on Twitter.
There is no exact date for Connect 2022 yet, but it should take place in late September and be announced in the coming days. Meta’s new VR headset, probably called Quest Pro, will be released in October.
At the same event last year, Carmack called for a higher perceived value for VR headsets. He said there are a lot of barely used Quest 2 headsets gathering dust in the closet. Carmack also discussed the potential of facial and eye tracking for VR – these features will play an important role in the upcoming Project Cambria (also known as Quest Pro).
In early August, Carmack criticized the inefficiency of investments made by Meta’s Metaverse division Reality Labs. Meta invested ten billion US dollars in VR and AR research in 2021 alone: a lot of capital that Carmack apparently sees as being used suboptimally.
Meta’s XR future as a part-time job
Carmack’s AI startup, Keen, is working with much smaller amounts: In August, the company raised $20 million from investors. According to Carmack, the external influx of funds is primarily for self-discipline.
The part-time job at Meta seems to have kept John Carmack busier than he would have liked lately. Checking Meta’s groups and mails every day distracted him too much from AI development, Carmack told in another Twitter conversation. These days, Carmack simply puts his Meta laptop in the garage after work.
I have been officially “one day a week” at Meta for a couple years now, but I still wound up checking in on groups and email every day, which was often a distraction when I should be concentrating on AI. Now I put my Meta laptop in the garage at the end of my VR day.
– John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) August 23, 2022