Pebbles Interfaces has just been acquired by Oculus VR, the Facebook-owned company behind the titular virtual reality headset and development platform the Oculus Rift.
Announced on Thursday via a blog post, the Israel-based depth-sensing and computer vision software specialist company Pebbles Interfaces have been picked up the by the VR powerhouse. The post details Pebbles Interfaces’ experience, describing how in the past five years they have been hard at work developing technology using “custom optics, sensor systems and algorithms to detect and track hand movements.”
Oculus clearly demonstrates its faith in their newest acquisition, claiming Pebbles Interfaces’ work will “unlock new human interaction methods in VR and revolutionize the way people communicate in virtual worlds.” To do so, the new company will join Oculus VR’s hardware engineering and computer visions teams, designing new technologies for virtual reality and human-computer interactions.
Pebbles’ CTO had this to say about the merger:
“At Pebbles Interfaces, we’ve been focused on pushing the limits of digital sensing technology to accelerate the future of human-computer interaction. Through micro-optics and computer vision, we hope to improve the information that can be extracted from optical sensors, which will help take virtual reality to the next level. We’ve always believed visual computing will be the next major platform in our lifetime, and we’re excited to join the Oculus team to achieve that vision for the future.”
An example of Pebbles Interfaces’ work can be found below, in a demo video.
This is the latest in a string of advances for Oculus VR – just last month they revealed their new controller, the Oculus Touch. Coupled with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s recent claims that VR will be the “next major computing and communication platform,” it seems Virtual Reality is really taking off.
Although no formal pricing has been released, the first consumer model is set to cost roughly $1,500 for a full, “all-in” build. This includes the Oculus Rift headset, an Xbox One controller and a gaming PC rig capable of dealing with the Oculus Rift’s demands. You should be able to pick it up Q1 in 2016.