Oculus VR, Facebook’s virtual reality subsidiary, announced this week that it has now released the hand tracking feature on its Oculus Quest Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. The company previously added handheld support with Oculus touch controllers, but now it is the first company in the industry to support native handheld monitoring. Following the company’s announcement, the functionality will be made available in an update for developers and users in the next few days.
The hand’s feature of Oculus Quest was originally scheduled for release in 2020, but the company is ahead of its own schedule. Manual monitoring will be experimentally available in the “v12” version of the software in the coming days. Oculus VR will also release the SDK, which will allow developers to add tracking “The hands” to their own games from December 16th. To take advantage of this, users will need to install next week’s v12 update and enable manual tracking in the Experimental Features menu.
Subsequently, by toggling in the Oculus Home menu, you can switch between touch control and manual tracking. According to Oculus VR, only a few proprietary applications such as Oculus Browser, Oculus TV and Library and Store will support manual tracking in the experimental phase. In addition, this update does not apply to PC-centric Rift or Rift S headsets and will not work if you use Oculus Link to connect a quest to your favorite PC-RV games.
A video published by Oculus VR shows a player scrolling through the text, browsing a video and launching an application with the new feature. According to the company, it plans to add new features to manual monitoring in 2020. Although it remains to be seen how precise the tracking technology “The hands” of the quest is, it at least offers the possibility of precise control without additional equipment. This approach differs from what all VR companies use today.
To integrate with VR, Oculus VR and other VR headset manufacturers have relied on controllers that each have their own confusing key layout and sometimes require external cameras and tracking devices to track your hand movements in virtual space. Now Oculus VR plans to integrate the hands into the VR through an inverted tracking system, a set of cameras and built-in sensors that detect where your body and hands are in a virtual space compared to the helmet.
With the launch of the new SDK next week, engineers and developers now have the ability to unlock hands-free interactions in Quest applications for the first time. “We look forward to what content they will present and broadcast as they experience new hands-on experiences ranging from more expressive gestures in social applications to more effective workflows in vocational training modules and more,” the company said.
We hope that manual tracking will make VR more accessible to newcomers by eliminating the need to learn controller functions. And for those who own Quest, as the equipment melts, you can fully immerse yourself in the magic of VR while connecting with others in a transparent and intuitive way,” she added. It should be noted that the Quest is Oculus’ fourth Consumer Virtual Reality (VR) headset. The Oculus Quest is a standalone headset, so it doesn’t need to be connected to a smartphone or computer to work.