Valve Blog Reveals Wearable Computing R&D Plans
A new blog by Michael Abrash on Valve’s official website has revealed that the company is working on wearable computing technology, making it clear why Valve recently listed job postings for Hardware Engineers.
“By ‘wearable computing’,” Abrash writes, “I mean mobile computing where both computer-generated graphics and the real world are seamlessly overlaid in your view; there is no separate display that you hold in your hands (think Terminator vision).” In other words, a real-life heads-up display.
Although Abrash expects the technology to be available in the next few years, he doesn’t expect it to be workable right away. “To be clear, this is R&D – it doesn’t in any way involve a product at this point, and won’t for a long while, if ever – so please, no rumors about Steam glasses being announced at E3. It’s an initial investigation into a very interesting and promising space, and falls more under the heading of research than development.”
Once the technology is developed, though, Valve is sure to be the first to start developing games for it. What kinds of things can we expect?
Elsewhere in the post, Abrash explains that Valve has no traditional management hierarchy. In today’s market, he argues, you can’t just do what someone else has done and expect to be successful. By eliminating the traditional management hierarchy, Valve encourages every member to find the best way he or she can contribute to the company. All ideas are welcome, and if it’s a good idea then someone will help you make it happen.
I think we can expect some very interesting things to come out of Valve in the near future. Although some many be disappointed about Valve staying out of the console market, it looks like the company is striking out in exciting new directions.
The post, titled Valve: How I Got Here, What It’s Like, and What I’m Doing, is a fascinating read for anyone interested in being a programmer, management techniques, or how advances in technology are shaping society. You can read it here.
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