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Oculus just bought two very interesting VR tech companies

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Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

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.

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