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Michael Antonov

Dedication of New Facility for the University of Maryland: Michael Antonov Speech

We all understand that the future will focus on technology. Whether this means finding better avenues for cybersecurity, researching computational biology or discovering new ways to use virtual and augmented reality, the future is in these fields. The University of Maryland certainly understands that and has recently opened a new center called The Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering.

The opening ceremony took place on April 27, 2019 and included Larry Hogan, the Governor of Maryland;  Mike Miller, the President of Maryland State Senate; Brendan Iribe, Co-Founder of Oculus; Michael Antonov, UMD Alumnus and Co-Founder of Oculus and many others.

The Iribe Center brings together the Department of Computer Science and the Institute for Advanced Computer Sciences under one umbrella with a six-floor building of labs, classrooms, auditoriums, offices and more. It allows students and faculty to expand their research and education in fields that include robotics, computer vision, machine learning, data science, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

The facility was made possible with the generosity of a few key donors including Oculus Co-Founders Brendan Iribe and Michael Antonov. In this video, Michael Antonov shares his heartfelt excitement about the new center and the vision he has for its future use and application.

Certainly, this new center paves the way for the future of technology and allows those in the field to expand their research capabilities and to lead us into the technology-based future that awaits us.

Michael Antonov – A Future Vision for Virtual Reality

The future of technology is bright and the possibilities are endless. Most of us can’t even imagine the next technological innovation coming around the corner – but of course those in the field certainly can. That’s why it can be exciting to hear from experts in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and to understand what their vision for the future is. For those interested in joining  these fields, it’s even more important to hear from the leaders who are already inventing and shaping the future.

One such leader, Michael Antonov, gave a speech entitled “Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Insights from Silicon Valley” at Tsinghua University in China a few years ago. Antonov had a great deal to offer to up-and-coming software developers and future engineers and inventors. He is the co-founder of Oculus, a company that revived the virtual reality industry and became part of Facebook in 2014.  He served as the Chief Software Architect of the firm and led the software team for Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2. Prior to Oculus, he was the co-founder and CTO at Scaleform, an interface middleware company that was sold to Autodesk. Today Michael serves as the founder and CEO of Formic Ventures, a human longevity-focused investment firm, and of The Michael Antonov Foundation.

In his lecture at Tsinghua University, Michael Antonov revealed his ideas about bringing virtual reality to the world and painted a picture of the exciting future we can enjoy because of new technological inventions. He shared his vision that some time soon, we will all be able to simply put on sunglasses and see an extension of our reality, the one that provides more productivity to workers, better entertainment to consumers, and more contextual education to students. While we are not there yet, he believes this technology will become mainstream fairly soon. Today we can already witness adoption of virtual and augmented reality across industries. Consumers can shop for new clothes using mobile devices and try them on in augmented reality without leaving their homes. Doctors experiment with surgeries in VR and scientists use VR to study molecules. This innovation allows school children to visit deep oceans or travel in time to walk around Jurrasic park, while adults can stand on stage with Paul McCartney, learn CPR, and travel the world in the comfort of their living rooms. One can only imagine what our world will look like in another decade.

Antonov explained that the two keys to success in this technology’s success are computer vision and AI. Mastering these challenges along with bringing more innovation will make VR even more useful in the future and turn it into the platform of tomorrow. Just imagine the world where VR can can read your mind, understand your emotions, or evaluate your health and well-being based on brain waves, eye movement, or your temperature.

Antonov presented many ideas to the packed audience – ideas that are worth listening to and considering as they set the stage for the future.