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Game Changers 2014: Brendan Iribe

Oculus' CEO is changing the tech industry forever.

When you think of virtual reality, you may still think of those clunky headsets and gloves attached to messes of wires from the 1990s – helping gamers peer into worlds that, even for the time, looked pretty subpar and didn’t offer as much fun as the major home systems on the market. It just never caught on, but Brendan Iribe and the developers at Oculus are here to change that much sooner than you would have thought.

Oculus’ impressive Rift headset has brought virtual reality to the forefront of new media-based technology, and it’s won the respect and admiration of generally not-so-easily surprised people like avid gamers, software developers, experienced tech writers and others. Earlier this year, Facebook’s massive $2 billion acquisition of Oculus gave the company sturdy backing to create and establish virtual reality as a major new gaming platform.

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Iribe is at the helm over at Oculus, bringing to the table a solid track record of success leading other tech companies before he joined up with developer-prodigy Palmer Luckey to make VR accessible to the masses. Iribe fully realizes and draws motivation from the knowledge that he’s leading a team of trailblazers, constantly creating new features and gauging what sorts of games the public might want (surprisingly, many early users have preferred to avoid intense first-person games). So is Iribe right to think virtual reality is the next big gaming platform? It’s hard to say so early on, but we really want to try on one of those headsets.

FIT FACT: Iribe thinks the Rift could be a game changer in the fitness industry. “In the first 30 days on Kickstarter, we started getting almost inundated with emails from people in [nongaming] markets,” he told PC World. “A lot of them came from medical fields, the military, architecture, automobile design, even fitness. There were just so many people reaching out to us.”

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