Oculus reveals VR hand tracking

Shawn Khoo recaps the latest developments in the virtual reality industry.

Shawn Khoo
14th October 2019
Image: Flickr (Topher McCulloch)
Oculus and Valve have both revealed new developments in the field of Virtual Reality (VR), paving the way for more realistic interaction with environments.

At the Oculus Connect 6, held on the 25th and 26th of September, Oculus presented their new controller-less hand-tracking technology for the Quest. Guests played around with this technology in a demo game called Elixer, interacting with various items and effects in a witch’s house.

Players were able to turn their hands into very odd things, such as octopus tentacles or beast-like hands with Wolverine claws. These changes still gave participants some autonomy over their movements, which is remarkable.

"...this new development promises smooth, precise movements with little visual errors."

However, what’s truly impressive about the technology is the stability of it – while other hand tracking technologies would show your hands vibrating and occasionally glitching out, this new development promises smooth, precise movements with few visual errors.

This hand-tracking technology is expected to be available for Oculus’ Quest early next year.

Prior to this event by Oculus, Valve also gave a sneak peek at their new VR technology, very likely for the games they have planned to release by the end of 2019.

Valve VR developer Kerry Davis gave a talk at the DigiPen Institute of Technology on the 14th of September hinting at the advancements they’ve made in the field. In his talk, he showed a video of only a hand opening and closing a door, interacting with the handle and walking through the doorway.

Although this may seem extremely underwhelming, Davis promises that this is the first step towards a true simulation of reality instead of a simulated ‘perception’ of reality.

While these developments are yet to reach consumer hands, they may just be crucial to the field of VR in the future.

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