Oculus acquires gesture-control firm

Oculus is acquiring Pebbles International; the goal is to advance immersive user experiences and computer-human interaction, for gaming and beyond.

Facebook, owner of virtual reality gaming company Oculus, has inked a deal to buy gesture-control and computer-vision company Pebbles Interfaces.

Facebook announced that it will add the Israel-based company, its technology and its team to its Oculus team.

Pebbles, a five-year-old company, stated on its website that joining Oculus should help the combined team advance immersive user experiences and computer-human interactions.

"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, CTO of Pebbles Interfaces, in a written 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."

Facebook, which has kept a large section of its user base entertained with social games like Farmville and Candy Crush, dove deeper into the gaming world in March 2014 when it bought Oculus.

Even though Oculus hadn't released Rift, its virtual reality headset, yet, Facebook still paid US$2 billion for the company.

Oculus Rift is designed to give gamers a 100-degree 3D field of view.

This past May, Facebook and Oculus bought image recognition company Surreal Vision, which had been focused on recreating real-life scenes inside 3D environments.

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said he's intrigued by the Pebbles purchase because the company is known to have some strong gesture-control technology.

"This technology appears to offer finite finger control, meaning that it is possible be more precise than using other types of gaming controllers," he added. "If it does what it says it will, then it would help advance the state of virtual reality. With this, virtual reality users can work with virtual objects with their hands and fingers."

And that goes beyond gaming.

"If you had an architect who wanted to work on a house, instead of using a mouse and keyboard, he could use his hands to move in and out of the virtual house, add features and move features," said Moorhead. "This could help Oculus gain greater levels of acceptance, given it works well and naturally."

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said Pebbles' gesture-control technology fits well with what Oculus is working on.

"With hand gestures, they're much more natural movements," he added. "Facebook has announced it would sell [gaming] controllers so now users would have a choice. Those who like controllers can use that, or when gesturing makes more sense, now they'll have that option too."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

Hello , great article!Fake followers have really become a big issue that needs to be identified and bring to an end.You can also include ...

Caitlyn Davis

Fake Twitter-follower market is adapting, growing, and getting ever cheaper

Read more

Did anyone proofread this document before it was published?

Beau Ushay

CMO Momentum 2020: How to embrace agile marketing

Read more

he decision to limit the initial version of the code to two US companies is discriminatory and will inevitably give an unfair advantage t...

Azeem Sohail

Google hits out at ACCC draft code of conduct for news media negotiations

Read more

You’re a warrior woman from way back. Just let the muscle memory take over!

Hannah Sturrock

Why fear trumps marketing theory - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

What an inspiring piece of writing, Hannah, thank you so much for sharing! All right, team jersey out of the locker, brains on, eye of th...

Myriam Conrie

Why fear trumps marketing theory - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Creating a culture club builds ownership of teamwork

Workplace cultures are the sum of everyone’s beliefs, behaviours, attitudes and skills. This means that no single person is responsible for culture, it belongs to the team.

Colin D Ellis

Culture change expert, author

A Brand for social justice

In 2020, brands did something they’d never done before: They spoke up about race.

Dipanjan Chatterjee and Xiaofeng Wang

VP and principal analyst and senior analyst, Forrester

Determining our Humanity

‘Business as unusual’ is a term my organisation has adopted to describe the professional aftermath of COVID-19 and the rest of the tragic events this year. Social distancing, perspex screens at counters and masks in all manner of situations have introduced us to a world we were never familiar with. But, as we keep being reminded, this is the new normal. This is the world we created. Yet we also have the opportunity to create something else.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Sign in