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Oculus expands into motion detection through Nimble Sense acquisition

Hand-sensing Rift attachment Kickstarter grabs VR attention
Oculus expands into motion detection through Nimble Sense acquisition

Oculus has been putting Facebook's money to use in acquiring new companies for its research arm, including newcomer Nimble Sense.

This tech developer was in the midst of a very successful Kickstarter campaign when the buy-out occurred, though its focus was very much on the production of an exciting Oculus Rift peripheral.

Motion controls uncovered

A major gap in the Oculus reveal so far has been a first-party controller for the virtual reality gaming system. There's been a lot of speculation on the subject, but the acquisition of Nimble Sense might finally answer the burning controller question.

The San Francisco-based Nimble Sense launched in 2012 with a focus on skeletal hand tracking software, and had brought in more than double its $62,500 goal to create a new HMD-mounted hand-tracking camera when funding was cancelled due to the buy-out.

Demos of the Nimble VR show off a low-latency depth-sensing system that doesn't require any gloves or sensors on the hands themselves, and achieves a similar field of view to the Oculus Rift itself. There's absolutely no reason it wouldn't also work with other virtual reality head mounted displays, though that's unlikely to happen now that Oculus has taken ownership.

Swedish company 13th Lab was also snapped up while Oculus had its wallet open, which specialises in research into augmented reality and also makes use of camera-based data, just as Nimble Sense does.

It's less clear exactly what this will bring to the Rift, but it's easy to see how it fits into the broader plan.