Facebook’s Oculus purchases Pebbles Interfaces to track hand gestures in virtual reality

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Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus is upping the ante when it comes to tracking hand gestures in gaming.

The company said Thursday that it purchased Pebbles Interfaces, an Israel startup that developed technology to detect and track hand movements.

“Through micro-optics and computer vision, we hope to improve the information that can be extracted from optical sensors, which will help take virtual reality to the next level,” said Nadav Grossinger, CTO of Pebbles Interfaces in a statement.

The companies did not disclose the price of the acquisition, but the Wall Street Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter, pegged the deal at around $60 million.

This isn’t the first company Oculus has bought to bring touch and gestures to virtual reality gaming. Other firms that the company bought include Surreal Vision and Nimble VR.

Oculus, which Facebook purchased in 2014 for $2 billion, is expected to release its virtual reality headset early next year.

Here’s a video that provides a glimpse of how Pebbles Interfaces’ technology works:

Photo Credit: Oculus founder Palmer Luckey is surrounded by photographers after introducing the Rift virtual reality headset during a press event in San Francisco on June 11, 2015. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)