By Daniel Hunter
Facebook has bought a British virtual reality start-up, just eight months after it was launched.
Surreal Vision has been bought through Oculus VR, the company famous for the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, which was bought by Facebook last year for $2 billion.
The start-up, which was founded at Imperial College London, allows users to interact with computerised versions of real life settings, aiming to make it impossible for them to tell the difference between the two.
In a business context, Surreal Vision claims meetings could be held as if they are in the same room but actually in completely different countries.
"We’re developing breakthrough techniques to capture, interpret, manage, analyse, and finally reproject in real-time a model of reality back to the user in a way that feels real, creating a new, mixed reality that brings together the virtual and real worlds," Surreal Vision said in a blog post.
Oculus Rift is set to launch next year, having started as a Kickstarter project in 2012, promising to take "3D gaming to the next level”.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg believes virtual reality will become a part of every day life.
"Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face - just by putting on goggles in your home," he said.
"Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones."