Oculus Rift acquires Surreal Vision and it leaves Microsoft in the dust.
This news comes straight from the Oculus Rift blog page, “We’re thrilled to announce that the Surreal Vision team has joined Oculus Research”!
Surreal Vision is a State of the Art computer vision team that is spearheading into the realms of real-time 3D scene construction which basically means mapping the physical world on the fly in the same way self-driving cars use LIDAR to see and create their environments. The technology generates a precise representation of the real world in the virtual environment Oculus produces to the extent that a user wouldn’t be able to distinguish between the two experiences.
By bringing onboard Surreal, Oculus (jobs at Oculus Rift) gains the expertise of the three founding PhDs, Richard Newcombe, Renato Salas-Moreno, and Steven Lovegrove all from Andrew Davison’s pioneering lab at Imperial College London,
So here is the magic, if Oculus Rift has the ability to replicate the world around you in real time, you could do some pretty outlandish things. Imagine sitting in your living room with your buddy who just happens to be a visiting Martian all while sharing chips from a bowl on your coffee table or vice versa. This can create a whole new level of presence and telepresence, allowing you to move around the real world and interact with real-world objects from within VR. This means making things like virtual telepresence possible, letting you “be there” without actually being there.
Wanna check Instagram or Facebook (jobs at Facebook) while lying on the floor, roll over and turn your ceiling into your social feed. Woot! Just so you know Oculus has already been investigating driving a car only using VR fed data. Since the Oculus Rift presents a completely enclosed headset with an entirely virtualized environment, the conditions required to make this perfectly emulate the outside real world are more demanding than with Microsoft’s system, where you’re literally seeing your surroundings at the same time while an overlay is projected on top.
Here’s what they had to say about the development:
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….
Ultimately, these technologies will lead to VR and AR 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.
This is the kind of thing that in the near future will allow you to control telepresence robots that walk around a real environment somewhere far away from you – perhaps even on the other side of the world, this way you don’t miss out on that family reunion in Australia while you’re sitting in your New York apartment on a rainy Saturday night. Get ready for all kinds on new modes of media and employment work, brought to you by Oculus Rift and Surreal Vision.