Prominent VR researcher who influenced Oculus Rift's creator joins Microsoft

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Microsoft logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft has picked up a major addition to its mixed reality efforts thanks to a new hire. According to a report by Polygon, the tech giant has hired Mark Bolas, a prominent name in the field of virtual reality research, professor at University of Southern California, and mentor of Oculus founder Palmer Luckey.

Polygon reports:

Mark Bolas, virtual reality researcher and mentor for folks like the creator of the Oculus Rift and the team behind VR shooter Raw Data, recently left his job as a researcher and professor at the University of Southern California for a job at Microsoft, Polygon has learned.A university spokesperson confirmed today his departure, telling Polygon only that he is now working at Microsoft.

As noted by Polygon, Bolas' work in virtual reality stretched all the way back to the late '80s. Bolas is also responsible for founding the Mixed Reality Lab and Studio at USC, where Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey got his start in VR. While Bolas' role at Microsoft remains unknown, it wouldn't be much of a leap to guess his work may concern HoloLens, Microsoft's augmented reality headset.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl