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Oculus Buys Gesture-Tracking Startup, Signs Deal for VR Films

Facebook-owned Oculus has acquired Israel-based Pebbles Interfaces, a computer vision and gesture recognition startup that could help the company to incorporate hand movements in virtual realityOculus announced the acquisition on its blog, with Pebbles Interfaces CTO Nadav Grossinger saying: “We’ve always believed visual computing will be the next major platform in our lifetime, and we’re excited to join the Oculus team to achieve that vision for the future.”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the pricetag was around $60 million.

Separately, Oculus has struck a deal with Montreal-based Felix & Paul Studios to produce an unspecified number of VR experiences for the company’s Oculus Rift headset as well as the Oculus-based Samsung Gear VR headset. Both companies are calling it “the largest live-action VR deal to date,” and Oculus head of studios Jason Rubin said that his company is “incredibly excited by the artistry and entertainment made possible by the rapidly expanding world of 3D 360 VR moviemaking.”

Felix & Paul is known as one of the most cutting-edge producers of  VR content. Its work includes “Jurassic World: Apatosaurus,” Cirque du Soleil’s “Zarkana” and “Inside the Box of Kurious,” which was also produced in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil.

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