Following its purchase of virtual reality technology manufacturer Oculus in 2014, Facebook has acquired VR audio firm Two Big Ears.
Founded in 2013 by Varun Nair (pictured, right) and Abesh Thakur (left), the Edinburgh-based company is known for designing immersive and interactive audio tools such as Spatial Workstation, a suite of tools for Mac angled towards creating audio for 360 video and cinematic VR and 3Dception, a real-time 3D audio and environmental modelling engine.
As a result of the deal, Spatial Workstation has been rebranded Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation and is now available for free, with the firm assuring those who have already paid for a licence will “continue to receive support in accordance with your current agreement for the next 12 months." 3Dception will also no longer be available as a standalone product.
A statement from Two Big Ears on the acquisition reads: "At Two Big Ears, we’ve been hard at work creating technology and tools that have defined how immersive audio is crafted and experienced in VR and AR both now and in the future. We’re proud to see the impact our work has had on so many great projects.
"Now, we’re ready to take the next step on our journey and scale our work from within Facebook. There is so much still to explore. By joining with a company that shares our values and our vision, we will be able to scale our technology even quicker as we continue powering immersive audio experiences."
Nair and Thakur were interviewed for the Immersive Audio feature in AMI's May 2015 issue. To read the article in full, click here.