Eric Romo, a pioneer in the world of social virtual reality, has joined the social VR team of Facebook, the exec announced Monday in this Facebook post.
Romo was a co-founder and the former CEO of Altspace VR, a social VR startup founded in 2013 that counted Comcast Ventures among its early financial backers. AltspaceVR shut down temporarily last summer after efforts to secure more funding failed. Microsoft acquired AltspaceVR last October, planning to use the buy to help it build a “mixed reality community.”
“It wasn't an easy decision, but I left AltspaceVR with confidence that the team is well-placed to continue pushing forward the promise of virtual communication as part of the Microsoft mixed reality ecosystem,” Romo noted in the post about his new role at Facebook, noting that he will stay in the San Francisco Bay area. “I can't wait to see what they'll do next, and wish them all the best.”
Facebook’s VR efforts also extend deeply into Oculus, the VR headset/platform company that FB acquired in 2014 for $2 billion.
Romo is coming on board at Facebook amid Oculus’s plans to introduce a wireless, standalone VR headset called the Oculus Go.
Coincidentally, Romo, during a keynote at New Bay Media’s VR 20/20 event in October 2016, predicted that standalone platforms “optimized for VR” would become the dominant form for virtual reality by 2020 and outsell the current wave of headsets that are paired with smartphones, PCs and gaming consoles.