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13th Lab, Chris Breglar Join Oculus

It’s been a big week for Oculus VR acquisitions. The Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) creator has announced that hand-tracking team Nimble VR is joining its operating, dropping huge hints about the future of VR input. It doesn’t stop there; Oculus VR has also announced that Sweden-based 3D model company 13th Lab and motion capture expert Chris Breglar are also coming on board to work on VR technology.

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As Oculus VR explains in a blog update, 13th Lab has been working in creating an accurate real-time 3D reconstruction framework that can turn the real world into 3D models for VR experiences. The company’s work could prove pivotal to the much-touted concept of VR tourism, with users able to slip on an Oculus Rift and visit accurate, virtual recreations of landmarks and destinations.

“Since we started our work in 2010, we have developed technology that build upon the idea that the camera is the most important sensor for understanding and interacting with the world around us,” the company noted on its official website. “Our products have included Ball Invasion (the world’s first iOS application using visual SLAM) and PointCloud SDK, our development platform. We would never have made it this far without the dedication of the team, and the support of our developer community and funders.

“Joining Facebook and Oculus will help us advance in our vision. We’re looking forward to building great VR experiences and working on the future of computing. We can’t wait to get started.”

As for Breglar, his recent work includes the likes of Disney’s The Lone Ranger and Star Trek Into Darkness, both of which were nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 2014 Academy Awards. At Oculus VR he’ll be heading up his own vision research team as part of the Oculus Research initiative that was announced earlier in the year at the Oculus Connect developer conference.

Whereas the acquisition of Nimble VR seems to concern Oculus VR hardware, it could be that these two announcements relate more to software. Oculus VR recently released its first internally-developed content in a demo of HeroBound: First Steps for the Gear VR smartphone-based HMD and with 13th Lab and Chris Breglar now on board it could offer an even wider range of high quality experiences. VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus VR, reporting back with any further updates on the company’s progress.