Oculus Buys Pebbles For $60-M, Advances VR Communication

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A man demonstrates the hand-tracking technology and using real objects to interact with the virtual realm

Gamers have long wanted to delve into the virtual world and Oculus Rift?has satisfied their desires with its advanced Virtual Reality (VR) technology, to make them feel like they are in the game. Oculus Rift however is taking things further by enabling gamers to transport a part of their body to the virtual realm after Oculus?reportedly buys Pebbles?for $60-million to help bring digital sensing technology to Oculus.

With a bucket load of cash as Facebook now owns Oculus, the company has recently acquired Israel-based firm Pebbles Interfaces, ?one of the leading teams in depth sensing technology and computer vision?, Oculus said in their blog.

While they didn?t specify what Pebbles will do for the company, Oculus posted a video on their blog a video of Oculus with the ability of real-time hand-tracking movement.

If you think that motion sensors in games are pretty old as it is now widely used with Kinect and the Playstation camera, you are dead wrong as the Oculus with Pebbles technology shows users being able to transport their arms and fingers into the VR realm. It also shows them moving all their fingers with a 1:1 movement and even bring objects in the real world to interact with the virtual realm.

Oculus said Pebbles Pebbles will help with hardware engineering and computer vision teams to help advance VR, tracking, and human-computer interactions. Oculus said the company will aid them in their aim to revolutionize communication in virtual worlds as Pebbles has experience for the past five years with developing technology that uses custom optics, sensor systems, and algorithm to detect and track hand movement.

Pebbles Interfaces CTO Nadav Grossinger said they are excited to join the Oculus team to bring VR to the next level.

?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,? Grossinger said.

It looks like we can expect great things soon as Oculus is set to release their headset during the first half of next year.


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