An attendee wears an Oculus Rift HD virtual reality head-mounted display at the 2014 International CES, January 9, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images
By Alex Fitzpatrick
December 12, 2014

Virtual reality headset company Oculus VR announced Dec. 11 two acquisitions that should help the company move towards a commercial launch: Nimble VR, which makes hand-tracking technology, and 13th Lab, a 3D modeling firm.

In practical terms, Nimble VR could help add something to virtual reality (VR) that’s been missing from most experiences so far: Your hands, which are surprisingly difficult to render realistically in VR. 13th Lab, meanwhile, could help Oculus build virtual reality experiences based on real-world environments, “like visiting a one-to-one 3D model of the pyramids in Egypt or the Roman Colosseum,” as Oculus’ blog post puts it.

Oculus’ two new acquisitions come as the company comes ever closer to a commercial launch of its Rift headset. While Oculus hasn’t officially announced a release date, many in the virtual reality community believe its first consumer device will hit shelves sometime in 2015.

Oculus has sold two headsets so far, the DK1 and DK2, though both are aimed at developers and early adopters rather than a mass consumer audience. The company has for several months been offering demos of its newest virtual reality headset, the Crescent Bay prototype, which offers a vastly improved experience over its previous offerings.

 

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