Oculus boosts virtual reality development with acquisitions

Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during an interview session at the Newseum in Washington, DC, September 18, 2013
Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during an interview session at the Newseum in Washington, DC, September 18, 2013

Facebook-owned Oculus VR moved closer to launching its virtual reality gear on Friday with fresh acquisitions of startups and talent.

Oculus announced it bought two-year-old Nimble VR and a second startup called 13th Lab, but did not disclose financial details.

Nimble specializes in hand-tracking technology "which has the potential to be a great (virtual reality) user experience," while 13th Lab is focused on real-time 3D modeling such as simulated visits to pyramids in Egypt or the Roman Colosseum, according to Oculus.

Oculus also announced that it has enlisted the motion-capture skills of Chris Bregler, whose recent projects include visual tracking for the films "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "The Lone Ranger."

"Nimble VR, 13th Lab, and Chris will all be winding down their existing projects to focus on VR full-time at Oculus as part of both product engineering and Oculus Research," the company said in a blog post.

Facebook early this year bought the headgear company Oculus in a deal valued at $2 billion.

Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg said that the acquisition of Oculus was a long-term bet that making the social network's offerings more immersion-focused would pay off.

"People will build a model of a place far away and you will just go see it, it is just like teleporting," Zuckerberg said.

The 30-year-old tech titan billed the acquisition as part of a drive to build the "next major computing platform that will come after mobile."

Oculus head gear has yet to become commercially available.


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Citation: Oculus boosts virtual reality development with acquisitions (2014, December 13) retrieved 21 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-oculus-boosts-virtual-reality-acquisitions.html
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Dec 14, 2014
Use cases? I'm having a hard time imagining how Occulus, constrained to be a component of Facebook can improve my Facebook experience to a degree that I would be willing to don the headset.

Until VR gear is widely and inexpensively available, amenable to being folded into anyone's experimental software, we're not going to see it take hold. Guess that also means gear from prospective VR companies (e.g. Sony, Occulus/Facebook) had best be able to interoperate.

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