Back in September, Oculus announced several exciting features coming to the standalone Quest headset. Not only does the Oculus Quest now have functionality to hook up to a PC and play more demanding games, but Oculus also promised controller-free hand/finger tracking using the Quest cameras. This feature was originally due sometime in 2020 but it is being made live earlier than expected.
Instead of waiting until the new year, Oculus will begin publicly testing hand tracking on the Oculus Quest this week as part of the headset’s v12 software update. Initially, hand tracking will be limited to interacting and navigating the Oculus Home interfaces and some select first-party applications like the Oculus Browser. You can also set up the Guardian system using your hands rather than a controller.
This project started off as a research endeavour at Facebook Reality Labs, using deep learning to understand and analyse the position of a user’s hands and fingers, as tracked by the Quest’s onboard cameras. That visual information is then used to enable interaction with VR games and apps.
Developers will need to implement hand tracking on their own apps on a case by case basis, so we don’t know just how widely this control method will be supported. To help get developers started though, the hand tracking SDK will be released next week, allowing developers to build their own apps using this new feature.
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KitGuru Says: This new hand tracking feature seems very interesting, although I’m still sceptical as to how well it will work. Fortunately, we’ll be able to put the feature to the test quite soon. Do any of you own an Oculus Quest at the moment? Will you be testing out hand tracking when it arrives in the next update?