Facebook has spent an undisclosed sum on the purchase of a UK firm called Surreal Vision that will reportedly boost the capabilities and features of the Oculus virtual reality system.
Facebook bought Oculus for some $2bn in March 2014, and its page has not given any acknowledgement about the new acquisition.
Surreal Vision's website does not offer much information about its business. The company was set up by Richard Newcombe, Renato Salas-Moreno and Steven Lovegrove, all from Imperial College London.
"We are a passionate team of computer vision scientists tackling the most ambitious perception problems for a new generation of spatially aware computing," says the ‘about' page.
"Our members are known for their innovations in real-time geometric and semantic scene reconstruction, capturing an exceptionally detailed understanding of the physical world we inhabit."
The deal was announced by Oculus in a blog post, providing a lengthy comment from the trio and an impassioned speech about the potential for virtual reality.
"At Surreal Vision, we are overhauling state-of-the-art 3D scene reconstruction algorithms to provide a rich, up-to-date model of everything in the environment, including people and their interactions with each other," the post said.
"We're developing breakthrough techniques to capture, interpret, manage, analyse and finally re-project in real time a model of reality back to the user in a way that feels real, creating a new, mixed reality that brings together the virtual and real worlds.
"Ultimately, these technologies will lead to virtual reality and augmented reality systems that can be used in any condition, day or night, indoors or outdoors. They will open the door to true telepresence, where people can visit anyone, anywhere."
The short version is that Surreal Vision will help to improve and refine the way people interact with objects in the virtual world. The founders will join the Oculus team in Washington in the US.
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