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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.

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