Surreal Vision is a small company in the UK that works on bringing the real-world into an interactive virtual world. And Facebook-owned Oculus just acquired them.

The three founders of Surreal Vision; Richard Newcombe, Renato Salas-Moreno and Steven Lovegrove will continue their work as part of Oculus Research.

Oculus Rift is known for transporting you to solely virtual worlds. Imagine scanning your immediate surroundings and then interacting with it in a virtual world. Or, checking out a tourist destination in VR before booking the trip.

It reminds me of what Destination British Columbia did with The Wild Within VR Experience.

This acquisition brings a bit of augmented reality (AR) to Oculus.

“At Surreal Vision, we are overhauling state-of-the-art 3D scene reconstruction algorithms to provide a rich, up-to-date model of everything in the environment including people and their interactions with each other. We’re developing breakthrough techniques to capture, interpret, manage, analyse, and finally reproject in real-time a model of reality back to the user in a way that feels real, creating a new, mixed reality that brings together the virtual and real worlds,” the Surreal Vision team said in a statement.

Richard and the team at Surreal Vision say there are still significant challenges to overcome. The biggest is maintaining near perfect accuracy and quality of a continuously updating 3D reconstruction.

The Surreal Vision team believes, “there’s no better place for us to help bring about these breakthroughs than Oculus. We’re incredibly excited for the future.”

Man, the next few years are going to blow our minds. Imagine being able to watch a basketball game courtside with perfect resolution.

Here’s an early video of a SLAM++ demonstration (invented by Renato Salas-Moreno). It’s rough, but gives you a good idea of what this type of technology can do.

We will all get our first taste of Oculus’ vision for VR next year. Earlier this month, Oculus announced the consumer version of the Rift in the first quarter of 2016. They will also be holding a pre-E3 conference next month. We should get a good look at the Rift’s initial lineup of games and experiences.

Rift consumer version

What’s one feature (game, experience, etc.) that would make Oculus a must-buy for you?

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