Oculus VR of Facebook Inc has confirmed that the company has agreed to buy Israel-based Pebbles Ltd, which is a gesture control company. The deal is said to be worth $60 million.
According to Wall Street Journal, Oculus, the company that Facebook bought last year, has issued a statement saying, Pebbles “will be joining the hardware engineering and computer vision teams at Oculus to help advance virtual reality, tracking, and human-computer interactions,”
Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook for $2 million just 16 months back is acquiring the gesture control.
The Oculus blog stated, “We’re excited to announce that we’ve entered into an agreement to acquire Pebbles Interfaces — one of the leading teams in depth sensing technology and computer vision.”
Nadav Grossinger, CTO of Pebbles Interfaces, said, “At Pebbles Interfaces, we’ve been focused on pushing the limits of digital sensing technology to accelerate the future of human-computer interaction.” He added, 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.”
Pebbles is a company based in Kfar-Saba, which is 14 miles outside Tel Aviv. The company that employs only 50 people is building gesture control technology for last five years. What changes brought by incorporating the software into Oculus headset will be seen in the future.
The Pebbles interface allows users to see their own arms and hands unlike other technologies. This happens in no latency as they move via virtual display.
According to Grossinger, “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.”
The news of Facebook taking over the gesture control company has raised a lot of questions. In past years, we have noted that Apple, Microsoft and Intel have acquired gesture control technology. The latest acquisition of Facebook can do wonders, since the company is currently focusing on video streaming.