René is officially the Director of Global Innovation at Valorem – unofficially he runs their mixed reality practice, has done an amazing job of attracting top HoloLens talent to Valorem (like Stephen Hodgson), and acts as an ambassador between the Unity world and the Microsoft world. In the past year he’s spoken about mixed reality at leading conferences such as //build, Unite and the Vision VR/AR Summit. He also has serious coding chops, having created and maintained the open source projects WriteableBitmapEx and SLARToolkit. He has been a Microsoft MVP since the Silverlight days.
What movie has left the most lasting impression on you?
David Lynch’s take on Dune. I love how the story is told as this surreal, dystopian future, as well as the visual style and the FX back then.
What is the earliest video game you remember playing?
The Great Giana Sisters on the Commodore C64. Of course I loved Cryo’s Dune game on the machine. In general all the games on the A500 were amazing but I enjoyed the Lucas Arts adventures the most back then, especially Monkey Island I + II.
Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think?
My wife! She helped me to get my life right and well, she is just an awesome person. How she plans, organizes everything, the love she shares and hard work is really the key to everything in our life.
When was the last time you changed your mind about something?
Well, just before writing that sentence. I think it is crucial to reflect on your thoughts and be able to change your mind and not be stuck. Be open minded. Say no to dogmatic thinking.
What’s a programming skill people assume you have but that you are terrible at?
What inspires you to learn?
Exploring innovative technologies and helping to change how people will interact with computers. All the innovations with VR/AR/MR (xR?) and AI will make a huge impact when it all comes together. It’s an amazing time to be a developer.
What do you need to believe in order to get through the day?
That our bet on the technology is going to really help us in the future.
What’s a view that you hold but can’t defend?
That AI won’t kill us. Super intelligent AI that outperforms any human intelligence in the not too far future won’t be interested in humans but rather will explore the universe, spread itself and spend time with each other. Humans will also talk with each other and not with apes right? 🙂
What will the future killer Mixed Reality app do?
Cover the full Mixed Reality spectrum and understand the real-world. Augmenting your real-world with virtual holograms using real-world reference points leveraging computer vision but also being able to transport you into another virtual world.
What book have you recommended the most?
Computer Graphics by Foley and van Dam. But it’s been a while.