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Oculus VR Acquires Nimble VR, 13th Lab

On Thursday, Oculus VR moved one step closer into bringing hands into the virtual reality space by acquiring Nimble VR. This is the same company that was seeking funds on Kickstarter back in October to build the Nimble VR depth sensing camera, which is optimized for the Oculus Rift. The Kickstarter campaign, now officially canceled as of Wednesday, blew through its $62,500 goal thanks to 1,076 backers pledging $135,511.

"The Nimble Sense captures a 3D point cloud across a 110 degree field of view. Combined with the world's most robust skeletal hand tracking software, the Nimble Sense delivers low-latency, accurate hand input to provide the simple experience of having both hands in VR," read the Kickstarter page.

The camera itself is about the size of a pack of gum and can be mounted on the Oculus Rift or on a desk. The device uses time-of-flight technology and can not only detect where the user's hand is located, but identify the joints of each finger. The information gathered by the sensor is provided by an API that developers can insert into their application.

The Nimble VR team was founded in 2012 by Kenrick Kin, Chris Twigg and Rob Wang. The overall team of five includes experts in computer vision/graphics and visual effects and a combined pool of experience that spans from Industrial Light And Magic R&D to Pixar. They've also earned PhDs from Carnegie Mellon, MIT and UC Berkeley.

In addition to acquiring Nimble VR, Oculus VR has also assimilated 13th Lab. According to Oculus VR, this team has been working to create a real-time 3D reconstruction framework that's accurate and efficient. "The ability to acquire accurate 3D models of the real-world can enable all sorts of new applications and experiences, like visiting a one-to-one 3D model of the pyramids in Egypt or the Roman Coliseum in VR," Oculus wrote.

Also joining the Oculus VR team is Chris Bregler, a motion capture expert who has worked on movies such as Star Trek Into Darkness and The Lone Ranger. He's also a professor of Computer Science at New York University and has previously worked on projects at Industrial Light And Magic, Disney Feature Animation, HP and more. At Oculus Research, Bregler will lead a vision research team.

"Nimble VR, 13th Lab, and Chris will all be winding down their existing projects to focus on VR full-time at Oculus as part of both product engineering and Oculus Research," Oculus VR reports.

Facebook purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion back in March. The deal included $400 million in cash and 23.1 million Facebook shares, as well as an extra $300 million earn-out in cash and stock if Oculus reaches certain milestones. Facebook has remained relatively quiet since the acquisition, allowing Oculus VR to do its thing. However, Zuckerberg made it perfectly clear that development of the Rift will focus on more than just gaming.

"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," said Zuckerberg back in March. "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."

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  • teknic111
    And the backers get shafted again!
    Reply
  • sman420
    I'd like to see Oculus develop a solution for haptic feedback systems for the hands and arms etc... this way you can interact with VR objects more like we do with real ones.
    Reply
  • EasyLover
    Ambitious move!
    Reply
  • yumri
    I'd like to see Oculus develop a solution for haptic feedback systems for the hands and arms etc... this way you can interact with VR objects more like we do with real ones.
    Yeah but a few laws of physics stand in the way for the main example being the object is not actually there so you will be interfaceing with a virtual object and your body will have to be very intuned to the virtual reality system to do that with force feed back Haptic feedback or just have an extention onto your arms to provide the force of the pressure inside the game.
    Reply
  • elcentral
    oculus don't do a HF3 we need you. get your 1440p or 4k screen and GOGO!
    Reply
  • quilciri
    The porn industry has already combined these technologies along with the Ultrasound device from the university of Bristol that allows users to feel 3D objects.
    Reply
  • Jack Shappa
    Ability to grab boobies in virtual space... Check.
    Reply
  • quilciri
    I wonder if the developed titles will still spoof movies or if they'll spoof Rift games....

    Poon 3: BJ edition
    Star Blumpkin
    bEVEr: Valkyrie

    ...I'm so mature.
    Reply
  • yumri
    14817644 said:
    The porn industry has already combined these technologies along with the Ultrasound device from the university of Bristol that allows users to feel 3D objects.

    Ok and what would that device be called? and who sells it? as if a porn company makes it they could generate major cash by just selling it to a non-porn company and haveing them market it for them as a technology that allows you to " feel 3D objects ", hear 3D sound, and is still in VR for the video display that would be totally cool ... of course this would put whatever they do a few years ahead of everyone else in it but still that would be totally cool.
    Reply
  • quilciri
    14827262 said:
    14817644 said:
    The porn industry has already combined these technologies along with the Ultrasound device from the university of Bristol that allows users to feel 3D objects.

    Ok and what would that device be called? and who sells it? as if a porn company makes it they could generate major cash by just selling it to a non-porn company and haveing them market it for them as a technology that allows you to " feel 3D objects ", hear 3D sound, and is still in VR for the video display that would be totally cool ... of course this would put whatever they do a few years ahead of everyone else in it but still that would be totally cool.

    Lol, it was a joke, but if you want the truth to it, the porn industry has historically been both a very early adopter of new technologies and an accurate prediction of competing tech (e.g. blu-ray vs. HD DVD)

    Mankind has added subtleties and wrinkles over the years, but we still adhere to "If I can't eat it or rub my penis on it, kill it"....really our only addition is "or if it lets me get things to eat or rub on my penis" :)
    Reply