Interested in making VR content? Facebook wants to help with one of the most crucial components. The social networking giant has acquired Two Big Ears, a spatial audio technology company, and released Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation on Monday.
The team behind Two Big Ears will now be working with Facebook’s Oculus division to create new virtual reality experiences and tools for the developer community. The company, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and founded in 2013, licenses tools for creating VR and 360 video, and has worked with YouTube, VentureBeat reported.
Even though Two Big Ears is now under the Facebook umbrella, the company said the technology will not be exclusively working for the Facebook platform and Oculus. “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,” Two Big Ears wrote in a blog post shared on Facebook.
The free tools are now being offered within the recently branded Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation, which offers a 360 video players and other spatial audio software tools. The system currently supports OS X 10.7 or greater. Windows is coming soon, according to the website.
— Two Big Ears (@TwoBig_Ears) May 23, 2016
Although Facebook is releasing this tech for free, the company can make money off the system through brand sponsorships of the videos within the Facebook feed. Two Big Ears has discontinued all existing partners who use the tech for free, and paying customers will have support for the next 12 months.
Facebook also created a new public group on the social networking site for developers using Facebook 360 Spatial Workshop. “We're excited and look forward to building a community where we can learn from each other and create great spatial audio for VR and 360 video,” Varun Nair, co-founder and VP of products at Two Big Ears, wrote on the page.
The acquisition is Facebook’s latest step to build on its video and VR technology. Facebook purchased Oculus for $2 billion in 2014 and released the first consumer headset this year. Brands have also been releasing 360 videos on Facebook, including HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”