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Oculus buys UK VR firm to make AR possible

Facebook has purchased the British based, Surreal Vision, in order to incorporate it into Oculus VR to aid further development within virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. The company, founded by students from the Imperial College London, specialises in converting real world scenes into virtual ones through 3D cameras, thereby allowing users to interact with the real world around them, whilst viewing it in VR.

The applications for such a technology cover the gamut from allowing players to navigate the real world without the need to remove the headset, making it possible to pause games and interact with people or objects without having to disengage from the virtual experience, to full on augmented VR experiences like that discussed by the recent Void trailer.

If combined with a laptop too, enabling untethered VR, players could potentially wander around wide open spaces and experience all sorts of fantastical sights and gameplay elements, all from the comfort of their headset.

surreal

The difficulty of course comes with the constant updating of the VR world, since it is drawn in real time. That’s something that the developers are still working on, but clearly they’ve progressed far enough that Oculus sees the potential for it, which is why Surreal has now been folded into the VR company. All three founding members will now join Oculus’ main research team in Redmond, Washington.

With the first consumer version of Oculus’ Rift headset set for release in the first quarter of 2016, the hunt is on to see what features it will come with. While we know it has a higher refresh rate, higher resolution display and better tracking than the DK2, it may also come with eye tracking, hand tracking and potentially now there’s the inclusion of cameras and AR features too.

Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.

KitGuru Says: What do you guys want to see in the consumer release? Hand tracking would be a big one for me. 

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