Facebook Acquires VR Company Two Big Ears And Makes Its 3D Audio Tools Free For All

Facebook recently acquired virtual reality (VR) company Two Big Ears in order to promote high-quality VR audio. Together they released Facebook 360: Spatial Workstation, a free software suite for designing spatial audio for 360 video and cinematic VR. Two Big Ears developers will keep working alongside Oculus employees, which is also owned by Facebook.


Two Big Ears stated, “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. 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.”

Facebook 360: Spatial Workstation includes the necessary authoring tools, encoder and rendering engine to create new audio experiences. The authoring tools require OS X 10.7 currently, but support for Windows will be added in the near future. Audio mixes can be exported in a range of formats, including ambisonics. Two Big Ears will continue to honor its agreement with Pro Customers for the next twelve months.

Facebook released its first 3D-360 film Here and Now on May 17th, 2016. Here and Now transports the viewer to the middle of the main hall of Grand Central Terminal in New York. Although there are various visual and audio cues to lead the story, the viewer is free to explore any character or vignette they desire. You can watch Here and Now on Oculus Gear VR in 3D-360 if you have a Samsung device or as a 360 video on Facebook.

here and now

Two Big Ears and Facebook have not revealed what exact projects they will be working on, however, there are many possibilities. Facebook does not currently have the have the benefit of playback while shooting, so this could be one possible project.

If you are interested in Facebook 360: Spatial Workstation, you can download the software here for free. For further support, you can join their designated Facebook group.