UPDATED 15:37 EST / MAY 23 2016


Facebook buys VR audio company Two Big Ears and offers its tools for free

Facebook has bought out spatial audio company Two Big Ears Ltd., and the social media giant has announced that it will be making its newly purchased VR audio tools available for free through the new Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation.

“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,” the Two Big Ears team said in an announcement on the Facebook 360 Workstation website. “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.”

“Starting today, our pipeline for cinematic VR and 360 video, including the authoring tools, encoder and rendering engine are available for free via download below.” We’re excited to be able to continue developing great tools for a larger number of people across the world.”

The team noted that its 3Dception for Games tool will no longer be available as a separate product, but they are working with Facebook-owned Oculus VR to incorporate the software into the new 360 Workstation.

In regards to what Facebook purchase means for the future of Two Big Ears’ tool on non-Oculus VR devices, the team was quick to assure developers that their tools will “continue to be platform and device agnostic.”

While the visual aspect of virtual reality has been at the forefront of discussions about the medium, audio is an equally important component when it comes to creating true a sense of immersion.

Simply recreating the direction of a sound is relatively simple, but spatial audio incorporates a wide variety of other variables, including distance from the sound source and how the sound is affected by environmental factors.

Photo by lhl

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