Hugo Barra, the International Head at smartphone maker Xiaomi, and the major face of the company among English-speaking geographies, has joined Facebook to head the Internet giant’s VR efforts.
Barra had joined Xiaomi nearly three-and-a-half years ago and was one of the people responsible for the company’s rapid success worldwide. The announcement was made by Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg via his Facebook page.
“I'm excited that Hugo Barra is joining Facebook to lead all of our virtual reality efforts, including our Oculus team. Hugo's in China right now, so here we are together in VR. It seems fitting. I've known Hugo for a long time, starting when he helped develop the Android operating system, to the last few years that 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. They'll enable us to experience completely new things and be more creative than ever before. Hugo is going to help build that future, and I'm looking forward to having him on our team,” read the post.
Zuckerberg and Facebook have identified virtual reality as one of the key mediums of the future and the company has been spending a lot of time, money, and energy in developing VR platforms. It acquired Oculus Rift in 2014 for USD 2 billion. Facebook has also said that it plans to invest more than USD 3 billion over the next decade to help make VR more appealing to the masses.