Though it doesn’t receive as much coverage, audio is just as essential to the VR experience as visual. Today, Facebook is making a big leap in this field.
Edinburgh-based immersive audio company Two Big Ears has today announced that it is joining the social networking giant and will be working with the Oculus team to help create “best in class” VR sound. The group is best known for its 3Dception engine for both cinematic VR experiences and games, which offers real-time 3D audio that will accurately position sounds within environments and help to adapt them based on the user’s own location. With Facebook on board, the company hopes to ramp up the work it’s doing with these programs.
That does involve some key changes, though. The company is today making its cinematic VR and 360 video rendering pipelines available for free, while 3Dception for Games can no longer be purchased as a separate product.
Instead, the engine is set to be combined with Oculus VR’s own work in VR audio. Two Big Ears is to cancel its existing agreements with customers for non-commercial evaluation and free versions, while Pro customers using both it and the company’s Spatial Workstation will receive support as agreed for the next 12 months. If you have any other questions about the transition to Facebook then you can check out a full FAQ on the company’s website.
Oculus itself offers a free Audio SDK for developers to integrate into their VR projects. It’s not explicitly stated, but it would make sense to see Two Big Ears’ work find a new home here. Facebook has also made a big push for 360 degree video over the past nine months, so expect to see its work applied here as well.
The news comes a few hours after we reported that Oculus itself iss expanding its presence in the UK, making new hires in London. This announcement seems to further that initiative and proves that the company will be able to broaden its horizons by seeking out talented teams on an international scale, having previously acquired a number of US-based groups like Nimble VR and Carbon Design Group.