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Oculus VR has acquired UK-based 3D mapping specialist Surreal Vision, one of the top computer vision teams in the world. Their work is focused on 3D scene reconstruction which involves scanning the real world and bringing it into the virtual world.
In a blog post announcing the acquisition, the Surreal Vision team shared a few words regarding what they look to do under Oculus' roof. The startup said they are overhauling state-of-the-art 3D scene reconstruction algorithms that'll provide a rich, up-to-date model of everything in the environment including both people and their interactions with others.
Scene data will get captured, interpreted, managed and analyzed before being projected into the virtual world in real-time. Ultimately, their technology will create a mixed reality world that combines elements of the real world with those that are totally imaginary, also known as augmented reality.
The team said the goal is to develop these technologies to a level in which they can be used in any condition, day or night, indoors or outside.
Or in layman's terms, the acquisition will help Oculus develop believable telepresence that'll allow people to "teleport" and visit any location at any time without having to leave their couch. Imagine being able to visit far-away friends and family anytime you like, attending a virtual meeting for work in your pajamas or watching a basketball game as if you were sitting on the players' bench.
The concept isn't all that different from Microsoft's HoloLens and with multiple major companies devoting resources to it, mixed VR / AR is bound to happen sooner rather than later. Some believe these solutions will totally revolutionize nearly every aspect of our lives within the next 10-15 years.
Surreal Vision's co-founders, Richard Newcombe, Renato Salas-Moreno and Steven Lovegrove, will continue their work as part of Oculus in Redmond, Washington.