Oculus VR acquires Pebbles Interfaces, a hand-tracking tech startup
Oculus VR itself was part of a large company buyout made by Facebook during the infancy of the Oculus Rift, when it was still a Kickstarter project. Now that it has become one of the gold standards in virtual reality headsets, Oculus VR is set to add another company’s expertise to its portfolio.
Facebook-acquired VR company Oculus VR recently announced that it has bought Pebbles Interfaces, a VR startup focusing on hand-tracking technology applied in VR. Pebbles Interfaces will join Oculus VR’s Hardware Engineering and Computer Visions teams to develop breakthrough solutions for VR and human-computer interactions. The fine print of this buyout are being kept secret by both Oculus VR and Pebbles Interfaces.
The Israel-based VR tech startup has a five-year expertise in the development and refinement of hand-tracking technology that tracks hand movements with the use of custom optics, sensor systems, and complex algorithms. To recall, hand-tracking technologies allow the user to view real-time, high-resolution image replicas of their hands and arms within the VR headset environment. Thanks to this buyout, Oculus VR will be able to integrate Pebbles Interfaces’ hand-tracking technology towards the much-anticipated consumer version of the Oculus Rift.
Pebbles Interfaces is the latest VR startup to be enlisted on Oculus VR’s portfolio of acquired companies. This acquisition comes less than a month after Oculus VR bought Surreal Vision, a 3D scene reconstruction technology company. Pebbles Interfaces describes itself as “an immersive sensing solution for virtual reality and augmented reality.”
Oculus Rift is truly a granted wish for many gaming enthusiasts. The long-held dream of being immersed in the game you’re playing, as well as in many audio-visual experiences, have been turned into reality ever since the Rift was successfully funded and eventually bought by Facebook. With the addition of hand-tracking technologies from startups such as Pebbles Interfaces, Oculus VR is already way ahead of the VR competition when it comes to the overall VR experience its users can expect.
Founded in 2010, Pebbles Interfaces raised about $500,000 in two funding rounds from companies like the giant Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, Giza Venture Capital, and SanDisk Corporation, among others. Pebbles Interfaces is based in Kfar-Saba, 14 miles outside Tel Aviv, and employs 50 people.