Jack McCauley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jack Jean McCauley
Jack Jean McCauley
Born 3 December 1959
Battle Creek, Michigan
Residence Livermore, California
Nationality United States
Education University of California, Berkeley
Occupation Inventor, engineer, video game developer
Employer Oculus VR (VP Engineering)
Known for Guitar Hero
Title Chief Engineer, Oculus VR
Children Sean McCauley, William McCauley

Jack J. McCauley is an American engineer, inventor and video game developer. He is known for inventing the first scrolling feature of the computer mouse and for designing the guitars and drums for the Guitar Hero video game series.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Jack McCauley was born on 3 December 1959 in Battle Creek, Michigan.[2]

In 1980, McCauley was accepted to the US Navy Nuclear Power School to work at Westinghouse Reactor Design.[3] From 1980 to 1984, he attended the University of California, Berkeley on a scholarship from the Information Assurance Scholarship Program (ISAP),[4] awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Security Agency.[3] He specialized in electronics and circuit theory and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1986.[1]


McCauley started his professional career working for the Department of Defense.[1] After graduating from Berkeley, he worked for a year for Temescal and then for 14 years, from 1991 to 2005, as an engineer for various companies, including Microsoft in Redmond, Washington where his responsibilities included the development of USB drives, kernel mode drivers, arcade machines and video game related peripherals.[1][3][4] The position at Microsoft was followed by others in the video game industry, first at RedOctane and Activision as the Director of Research, and then at Electronic Arts and Oculus VR where he is currently the VP of Engineering.[3][5]


McCauley has authored research papers[6] in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and mathematical modeling of AI-based systems. His inventions, patents, and intellectual property span multiple technologies. He is one of the authors and originators of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) specification,[4] and is an expert in Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).[5][7]

As architect and research head for RedOctane, McCauley was a key contributor to the Guitar Hero game series[8] and the chief engineer and designer. He designed the electronics for the Guitar Hero Guitars and the Guitar Hero drum controller, which formed the basis for all subsequent Guitar Hero versions.[9] Other video games that he designed include Time Crisis II and Time Crisis III, Silent Scope, Dance Dance Revolution, Area51, Active 2.0 and GTA:[10]

Video Game Role Developer
Forza Motorsport Modeling Microsoft
Guitar Hero Designer RedOctane
Guitar Hero II Designer Activision
Guitar Hero III Designer Activision
Guitar Hero World Tour Chief Designer Activision
Time Crisis II Designer Namco
Time Crisis III Designer Namco
Silent Scope Designer Konami
Dance Dance Revolution Designer Konami
Gran Turismo 2 Designer Sony Entertainment
Area51 Designer Mesa Logic
Active 2.0 Designer EA Sports
GTA Designer Take2

Through his development work on Guitar Hero and work for Electronic Arts and others, McCauley has been a key figure in incorporating MEMS technology into video games.[7]

Among McCauley's many inventions are: the wireless video game steering wheel, the video game light gun, the composite HID USB device for gaming as well as the Guitar and Drum Controller for the Guitar Hero franchise.[1][8][9] He holds more than a dozen different patents for his inventions,[1] including gaming controllers, haptic technology, and sports and medical physiology measuring devices, patents US 7,775,884, US 6,287,198, US 6,293,392 and many others.[11]

Personal life[edit]

McCauley lives in Livermore, California.[3][4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Cacho, Gieson (16 October 2008). "'Guitar' hero: Danville resident was instrumental in designing controller". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Jack McCauley -- Danville, CA". Mylife. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Jack McCauley". LinkedIn. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Jacj J. McCauley". Zoominfo. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "About Oculus VR". Oculus VR. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  6. ^ McCauley. "A Fuzzy-Logic Torque Servo". Dr. Dobb's Journal. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  7. ^ a b "MEMS Executive Congress 2011: MEMS Technology Showcase". MEMS Industry Group. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Jack McCauley". Mobygames. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Cacho, Gieson (16 October 2008). "More Guitar Hero World Tour tidbits". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "Jack McCauley". IMDB. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Jack McCauley". Google Patents. Retrieved 13 December 2012.