Oculus VR, the developer of the Rift virtual reality headset, made two acquisitions this week with the aim of improving its immersive technology. One is a company that specializes in hand tracking while the other develops tech that can create 3D models from real-world objects.
The first of those acquisitions is Nimble VR. The two-year-old company has been developing skeletal hand tracking and software and a depth-sensing camera called the Nimble Sense to bring Oculus Rift users' hands into the VR experience with gesture recognition. The company was running a Kickstarter campaign to fund Nimble Sense — which had already hit its funding target — but canceled its campaign in light of the Oculus acquisition.
The other company Oculus snapped up was 13th Lab, which has developed accurate, marker-less augmented reality tracking and real-time 3D construction framework technology.
"The ability to acquire accurate 3D models of the real-world can enable all sorts of new applications and experiences, like visiting a one-to-one 3D model of the pyramids in Egypt or the Roman Colosseum in VR," Oculus says of 13th Lab in a blog post.
Oculus also announce the hiring of motion capture expert Chris Bregler, a professor of computer science at New York University and contributor to motion tracking special effects in the films Star Trek Into Darkness and The Lone Ranger. Bregler will lead a vision research team at Oculus.
Check out the following videos for a taste of what Nimble VR and 13th Lab have been working on in the VR and AR space.