Oculus, maker of the Rift virtual reality HMD, announced the acquisition of Pebbles Interfaces, a company that develops hand-tracking technologies. As one of the leading teams working in depth-sensing technologies and computer vision today, Oculus believes that Pebbles Interactive's expertise will help the company develop new ways to communicate within virtual environments.
Over the last five years, Pebbles Interfaces has been developing technology that tracks hand movement using a combination of custom optics, sensor systems and proprietary algorithms. Oculus said that the developments in sensor technology over time will unlock new methods of interacting in VR. The company believes these advancements will revolutionize how we communicate in virtual worlds.
Oculus shared a video demonstration of the technology that Pebbles Interfaces has been developing. From what we're shown, it looks very similar to Leap Motion's hand tracking system that we tested recently. It will be interesting to see where these two competitors will land in the market.
Oculus hasn't yet set the release date for the Rift -- only stating that it is coming in the first quarter of next year -- but it would seem that hasn't stopped the company from working towards future products and technologies now.