Facebook, in a partnership with Oculus parent company, announced that they were purchasing Two Big Ears, an immersive audio company. The two will be making the technology from the new acquisition free as part of the Facebook 360 Spatial Workshop.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed yet. Two Big Ears is an Edinburgh-based company which began back in 2013 and specializes in the gaming experiences and the spatial 3D audio in cinematic experiences also.
In a blog post to announce and detail the purchase, Two Big Ears wrote:
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…Our mission is to make VR audio succeed across all devices and platforms and continue to help creators make the best experiences for billions of people across the world.
Technology from the company is mainly based on how sound can be played in the 3D format, and bow it would interact with all the surfaces that are surrounding the viewer at that particular time. The issue of getting 3D audio is major for Facebook and Oculus because they want to get further in the VR market. Facebook will open up the technology from Two Big Ears for developers which will keep them happy, and Oculus Gear VR and the Rift also support audio technology.
Developers wondered if the new technology would only work with Oculus Rift and Gear VR, after which the Two Big Ears company came out saying they were going to continue developing for other platforms and also strive to be agnostic. However, the move might not be the best for developers at the moment who had signed onto the Pro subscription of the 3Dception. Two Bug Ears said that they would continue support for another year to the following services, Unity, Wwise, and FMOD plug-ins. They did, however, say plug-ins would not be available for download anymore.
The 3D audio technology is seen as important for VR headsets, but experts say it is even more important for the Facebook available VR experiences. The acquisition of the Two Big Ears company makes it easier for developers experiences and ensures that Facebook continues to make huge strides on being the default hub for all immersive VR video content.