Michael Abrash is a legendary programmer. He has worked at Microsoft helping to develop Windows NT 3.1, and helped to develop the original Quake with John Carmack at id Software. He's now working at Valve and today he wrote a lengthy post on his newly launched blog where he talks about his career and why working at Valve is so different from his previous gigs.
The post is well worth reading but the heart of the article is when Abrash talks about what he is developing right now at Valve. He is working on a hardware project which he says is using "wearable computing" as its basis. He states:
By “wearable computing” I mean mobile computing where both computer-generated graphics and the real world are seamlessly overlaid in your view; there is no separate display that you hold in your hands (think Terminator vision). The underlying trend as we’ve gone from desktops through laptops and notebooks to tablets is one of having computing available in more places, more of the time. The logical endpoint is computing everywhere, all the time – that is, wearable computing – and I have no doubt that 20 years from now that will be standard, probably through glasses or contacts, but for all I know through some kind of more direct neural connection.
He also writes about the challenges that would have to be solved for such a hardware setup to actually work, especially in software and UI. Abrash says his work has just started and may not even be released as a commercial project, saying, "The Valve approach is to do experiments and see what we learn – failure is fine, just so long as we can identify failure quickly, learn from it, and move on – and then apply it to the next experiment."
It will be interesting to see what Valve's ideas are like compared to Google's Project Glass which was revealed earlier this month.