When Oculus VR purchased hand-tracking company Nimble VR in late 2014 it provided a big hint about where the company was placing its bets with the future of input for virtual reality (VR) experiences. The acquisition suggests that this is the route it is taking for interacting with the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD). Despite this, it appears that neither Nimble VR nor Oculus VR-owned 3D model company 13th Labs’ work will be visible in the first consumer version (CV1) of the Oculus Rift. In fact, it may even miss out on the second and third iterations.
Oculus VR’s VP of Product Nate Mitchell explained as much to Venture Beat in a recent interview. “We just acquired Nimble VR and 13th Lab,” he said. “They are two computer vision companies doing unique work. I can’t go into too much about what they’re working on. One of the things we’ve been transparent about is that it’s pretty likely that their technology won’t make it in for consumer version 1 (CV1). It could never be used even for CV2 or CV3. But we have brought them on to do some stuff, both in Oculus research and in product engineering. Hopefully we’ll see some fruits of their labors in the coming months and years.”
Mitchell’s comments are in line with those from Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week. Iribe suggested that Oculus VR’s input solution might not make it into CV1, although Mitchell’s statement goes above and beyond by suggesting it might not be seen in CV2 or CV3, whenever they might release. That said, Oculus VR has repeatedly stated that it is still in very early stages with its VR input work, even if Iribe also teased that the company might show something ‘sometime soon’.
VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus VR and its work with Nimble VR and 13th Lab, reporting back with any further updates.