Facebook Sells off VR Software Oculus Medium to Adobe
For once, the world is now looking with curiosity towards VR and AR technology. There is a great potential in its use and myriads of applications. Microsoft introduced its new Hololens 2 and HTC is going strong with Vibe. The technology has been around in various forms for decades. But, only with renewed interests and affordable solutions, it is within the reach of people. Many researchers from universities are using it for developing new tools.
Oculus Rift was one of the first to create a buzz in this field way before Microsoft or HTC saw potential in the concept. It was Oculus that brought everyone’s attention to the concept. Now, Oculus is acquired by Adobe after just a few years at Facebook.
Adobe is Interested in Upgrading its Creativity Platform
The company known for its PDF reader that it acquired from another company and got into the limelight is trying to pull it off again. Facebook didn’t do much after the acquisition of Oculus for a whopping $2 Billion in 2014. The company kind of was overshadowed by Hololens and Vibe. Oculus VR Inc. was the parent company that made the world stop with its Rift. Now, after 5 years, there seems to be a chance of management once again. And, Adobe has agreed to buy Oculus Medium from Facebook.
However, there is a catch. Facebook is not selling Oculus VR Inc. but it’s an in-house project called Oculus Medium. So, in some form, Facebook still aims to leverage the $2 Billion purchase and make profits. Adobe is buying its new tool targeted towards creative called the Oculus Medium. According to Facebook, the team behind this new productivity tool was an expensive effort and it was looking to make a profit. Its sale signifies that Facebook was successful in finding a buyer in Adobe. As per their marketing head, Facebook had been rethinking their broader decision on which in-house projects to keep and which virtual reality projects to sell?
And, as it is clear that Facebook has invested an awful lot of money into the project, that is called Medium, the sale of this team was not going too well with it. Even with this purchase when they have finally reached an agreement with Adobe, we are unsure if this was a great deal or just satisfactory. If the price tag attached to this is proper then the Oculus Medium would be a good deal. However, the terms and conditions have not been shared by either of the parties, and it is hard to tell.
Learning More about Oculus Medium and what is it for
Going to the webpage of Oculus?you can find some information about the newly developed tool by Facebook. The company has also not hesitated to share the Oculus Medium Tutorial on YouTube, which is currently the largest video-sharing platform.
In one of the famous 3-minute videos, you get to see what Medium can do for you. Here Oculus shared a pet project involving a collaborative showpiece featuring concept art by Carlos Huante, the famous artist behind unique and out of the world monsters and using that to 3D print it as a sculpture was a big thing. This is where Oculus Medium was used to test its potential. The medium was found to be a perfect medium to achieve Carlo’s style of design in CG. This is directly from the people who worked on this project and brought it to reality. As a sculptor, your hands are where the surface is. The mark you do is on the surface. There is such high precision of VR and the modeling that it is as close as it gets to work on it physically with clay.
So, essentially Medium helps artists with an incredible tool at their disposal. One can model, create amazing sculptures and bring them to life. So, just like Gio Napkil who modeled the monster using the VR tool, as artists you can come up with tons of ideas. For starters, look at these video tutorials to learn and understand the concept well. And, this will also help beginners to select between a Hololens 2 or Vive or Oculus.
A brilliant way of creating 3D models on your 2D screen is to create it in 3D.
The Oculus Medium on Quest Scenario and Oculus Link’s Launch
A Reddit thread on this issue (was surfaced back in 2018 where people were largely upset with the idea that it is too heavy on CPUs and that is the major bottleneck for its release on Quest. Though Tilt Brush is released on Quest and Medium with Oculus Rift is not, some artists were disappointed with this.
But, things were not that gloomy either. After almost one year in November of 2019, a post was found that spoke about using the Oculus Medium app on Quest using the new link cable. This was then published on OculusVR Forum. The Oculus Quest is an all-in-one VR headset, the second to Rift if you do not know already. Also, the Oculus Go was released to compete with the lightweight play formats that other companies were pushing forward. This Oculus Quest was released as an all-in-one standalone gaming system that required no wires and no PC. All you need is a controller and a headset that transports you into the virtual world. Oculus Quest was the first to combine the two. The virtual and the real world and, Oculus Link for Oculus Quest made its way to encourage even more gamers and creators to try this out.
Oculus is all about making experiences affordable and reachable to consumers. And, this means working on a problem and making it available through myriads of applications. It is important to know how to use them and their limitations as well. The Oculus Medium Quest is a perfect combination of a handset and the app and it allows you to do lots of things in a much simpler and convenient way. The combination is also meant to help people work faster and better. Oculus Link allows bringing remote rendering to life. The Oculus Link Cable comes with the premise of supporting PCs. With this connecting cable from PCs to Quest, it allows you to bring all the high-fidelity content from Rift to Quest. The PCs today have incredible graphics power enough to produce High-fidelity content and rendering. The Link is a custom low-latency and rendering pipeline allows you to do that. This makes Oculus Medium usable on a PC.
The Oculus Medium Review and its Various Accessories to Play with
As we have already discussed the app and the cable above, we shall take a deep dive into the applications and the real-world performance of this tool. The Oculus Quest which was announced for $400 in May of this year competes with Vibe. But, with the app Medium, it promises to offer something no one can do at the moment. And, similar to all-in-one gaming platforms, we take a stress test on its capabilities.
In a single sentence, the Oculus Medium is a VR is a platform that is made for sculptors, artists, gamers, 3D modeling in technology and engineering, in real-time using the virtual world to interact with your creation. It allows making modifications and viewing them in real-time. It allows rendering of the image, projecting it into the headset in real-time as if it were physically there in front of you. How cool is this?
If you’ve never used VR apps before, this is going to seem like a learning curve and, with every software; there is a lot to learn too. It might be useful for many but may not be convenient for others. You get two hands as for real with two types of controls. In the sculpting mode, you get your controller on the left with the right hand holding the pen. When you need to change brushes and stuff, you do it with your right hand. You can see in the world around you a sphere and floating menus with buttons to select and stuff. It is like the whole computer screen now lives around you. As you keep working with it for about a week and spend hours you can get the hang of it. You can get your job done and not waste time figuring out what is what?
You can move around your arms and zoom in or zoom out. You can reach a certain position of the model in 3D by moving it around and so on. However, if you have worked with clay models and tools for decades, you probably won’t like it. There is no physical touch and feel. It is all simulated and you really have to allow yourself to live in the virtual world to appreciate the tool.
The advantage of working in VR is that you can work on any scale. For example, if you’re doing a miniature model, you can work in VR on an as big scale as you want, add details and work more easily than using small tools and working on the small scale directly.
The Oculus Link USB Cable for PC
The Oculus Link is a piece of software integrated into the platform that allows you to use Quest as a PC-based VR system. It can be done using the Oculus Link Cable that allows using the same kind of high-fidelity rendering your GPUs in the desktop produce when gaming on a monitor. All it requires is a USB 3.0 Type-C cable that is specifically designed for this purpose. This allows you to tether the Quest headset into the PC.
To learn more about the compatibility of the product, browse this webpage from Oculus.
The Sale of the Medium and its Fate in the Future
With the Oculus Story Studio, Facebook had a very bad breakup. It had to shut down the project because it didn’t seem profitable and lay off several employees. Medium is also a small community and it makes more sense in Adobe than Facebook. Given the tools for creators, Facebook doesn’t think it is wise taking it in-house rather selling it off. Though Facebook purchased Beat Maker earlier this year, it is speculated that it is betting big on VR. But, Facebook is also known for buying and acquiring companies only to sell them at a later stage for a hefty sum.
But, for a product and a division that is only talking about appealing to people way too far into the future, it is a big bet. The adoption of VR has not seen that much growth even in the gaming sector and that has not stopped tech-giants from pursuing the distant future.
- It is made for professionals and it offers specific tools for them, for example, smoothen, flatten, smudge, cut and brushes for sculptors with icons of real-world tools they use.
- It helps you work on any scale, so working with miniature and complicated detailed projects is a breeze.
- You can use your Oculus Quest with a PC using a USB cable and allow the GPUs to make it high fidelity output.
- Regardless of what you do, you’re not going to make your workshop dirty or waste the precious materials that you took days to order from different parts of the world.
- For beginners and veterans, it is difficult to get the hang of.
- It might be very difficult to understand the latency and crispness or preciseness with which you can work here.
The pragmatic strategy of making products for the future is a good idea when it doesn’t cost the company’s present growth. It signifies more of a commitment to how things will change in the future and how hardware allows them to make it to the consumers in an affordable manner. More so, it has to make sense to buy one of these and use them in your daily life. For example, with Google Assistant on all phones that have Android, hardly less than 1% of people talk to their phones. People still use their fingers to type and search for things.