The first employee at Oculus just left the company

The first employee hired to work on the Oculus Rift at Oculus VR — the virtual reality headset company Facebook paid $US2 billion for — is quitting.

“Chris Dycus, employee number 1, out,” he wrote in a public Facebook post on May 15.

Oculus VR team Brendan Iribe Palmer Dycus is the guy wearing the early Oculus Rift prototype headset in this image, surrounded by co-founders Nate Mitchell (left), Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, and Michael Antonov.

Dycus was a hardware engineer at Oculus VR, where he worked on early prototypes of the Oculus Rift headset as well as the final consumer model that launched in 2016. He was hired in 2012.

“I am a little disappointed I won’t make it to my 5 year Oculus anniversary — only 2.5 months away! Oh well,” he wrote in his Facebook post.

It sounds like Dycus is leaving under amicable term. He wrote that he’s leaving for a startup that, “really sounds like something I want to do,” though he doesn’t explicitly say where he’s going other than “to beautiful, sunny SoCal.”

Dycus was part of the original crew that started Oculus VR, long before it was purchased by Facebook for $US2 billion. Some of that crew remains in place at Oculus — Nate Mitchell, Michael Antonov, and Brendan Iribe (seen above) are still with the company. The company’s founder and poster boy, Palmer Luckey, exited earlier this year following an anti-Clinton political donation controversy.

Palmer luckey demos oculusMatt Weinberger Business InsiderOculus VR co-founder and former figurehead Palmer Luckey.

Though Dycus is leaving on seemingly amicable terms, the past year for Oculus VR was rife with trouble:

The next project from Oculus VR, an Oculus Rift that operates without the assistance of a powerful gaming PC, is currently in the works.

Oculus Rift Santa Cruz prototypeFacebookThe Santa Cruz prototype of the Oculus Rift, in action.

It’s codenamed the “Santa Cruz” prototype, and it’s a bit of a step down from the experience offered on the first Oculus Rift. Instead of targeting so-called “high-end” virtual reality — the kind of VR powered by a powerful gaming PC or game console — the Santa Cruz prototype is aiming to compete with the likes of Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream in the mobile VR space.

Facebook declined to comment on Dycus’ departure, but confirmed he had left, and that he was the first company employee after the founders. You can read his full post right here:

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