Oculus: Facebook virtual reality firm buys gesture recognition company Pebbles

Company, which makes the Rift headset, could be looking to let its technology also track the people wearing it

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The Independent Tech

Oculus has bought an Israeli gesture recognition firm, potentially bringing the ability to interact with the worlds shown in its Rift virtual reality headset.

The company, Pebbles, makes kit so that headsets and other computers can recognise the movements of their users and then render them in the virtual world. At the moment, the Oculus Rift headset can only show images of the worlds that it lets people inhabit — but the new technology could be used to let people fully interact with them, too.

Eventually, that will be used to let people communicate with each other and interact with the objects that are shown to them, Oculus said.

“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,” said Nadav Grossinger, the CTO of Pebbles Interfaces, in a statement. “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.”

Oculus makes the most famous virtual reality headset, the Rift, which is expected to be released early next year. The company initially funded its projects through Kickstarter, but was bought by Facebook last year.

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