Eye on Oculus Facebook intensifying work in Zurich

Facebook was launched in 2004


Social network giant Facebook is stepping up its presence in Switzerland, via its virtual reality subsidiary Oculus. An office will be opened in Zurich with ten researchers from the Zurich Eye project.

“Oculus is opening an engineering office in Zurich dedicated to computer vision,” Facebook Germany spokeswoman Tina Kulow told swissinfo.ch in email comments. This follows information that had appeared in the Handelszeitungexternal link on Thursday.

It will be a small office and Oculusexternal link only, she added.

Zurich Eyeexternal link “enables machines to see”, according to its website. Its hardware/software system provides reliable and sub-centimeter accurate position information to robots that navigate both in indoor and outdoor environments.

According to the Handelszeitung, Facebook took over Zurich Eye a few weeks ago. The Zurich team is made up of ten researchers from the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and the University of Zurich and they will be part of Oculus.

Facebook Switzerland, which has its main office in Geneva, is to also receive more funding, according the Handelszeitung. Share capital has been increased from CHF120,000 ($122,000) to CHF 2.02 million. The main focus is to be research and development.

The news will be a boost to the technological industry in the city of Zurich. In addition to many start-ups and Swiss firms, Google has 1,500 employees in the city researching the digital future.