Oculus acquires UK firm Surreal Vision

Team working on tech to generate realistic worlds in the virtual space
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Oculus has acquired UK firm Surreal Vision, who will now join the VR outfit’s Research team in Redmond, Washington.

The company has been working on real-time 3D scene reconstruction, aimed at generating an accurate representation of the real world in the virtual space. The idea is to allow users to interact with real-world objects from within VR.

Surreal Vision was founded by KinectFusion inventor Richard Newcombe, SLAM++ creator Renato Salas-Moreno and DTAM’s Steven Lovegrove. The team had been based in Bushey, Hertfordshire in the UK, but will now move to the USA.

“From the human point of view, the world is constantly in motion,” read a statement from Surreal Vision.

“As we move around, our eyes dart about the scene and the rich dynamical nature of the scene’s contents come flooding in. We’re able to make sense of those changing signals to produce a coherent understanding of the world we live in, which we effortlessly navigate and interact with. Over the past three decades, a great deal of work in computer vision has attempted to mimic human-class perceptual capabilities using colour and depth cameras.

“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. 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 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.”

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