Oculus Quest to get hand tracking to improve interaction in VR

What you need to know

  • The Oculus Quest will have hand tracking to improve interaction with virtual reality.
  • The new feature will roll out to users in the near future.
  • Hand tracking will allow users to interact with games in a new way on the Oculus Quest.

Mark Zuckerberg announced at Oculus Connect 6 that the Oculus Quest will support hand tracking in the near future. This new feature will improve how players can interact with virtual reality.

Hand tracking is a highly anticipated feature for the Oculus Quest. It will allow users to interact with games and apps without requiring a controller. Additionally, it can be used in situations that are unique to a controller-free setup. Johnson & Johnson spoke at the Oculus Connect 6 keynote and showed that hand tracking can be used to train surgeons within virtual reality. The speaker highlighted a study by Imperial College London that illustrated that hand tracking surgery training was significantly more successful than traditional teaching methods.

When it comes to gaming and using apps, hand tracking will allow users to have a more natural form of interation with virtual reality and also lowers the learning curve of the Oculus Quest for experiences that support hand tracking.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

  • Need to learn more about this, it seems too good to be true with just the RGB camera sensors it has. Accurate finger recognition requires something like Leap, Realsense, or Kinect.
  • Don't know which technology Oculus is using, but Google showed it is possible to leverage AI machine vision to do fully-articulated hand tracking with simple RGB cameras on a mobile device : https://ai.googleblog.com/2019/08/on-device-real-time-hand-tracking-with... I'm not even sure it needs colors, if it works on grayscale images it could probably be even possible on current Windows Mixed Reality immersive headsets.
  • That's my point, if it's all software and it doesn't need more than a video feed, it can be done in WMR even with fewer cameras. Or at most, using some high contrast or illuminated gloves. Also, I'm a bit suspicious of its performance if it's not depth camera based because I've tried some solutions like that and they can be really clunky. We'll see.
  • You picked an object in front of the camera.
    Curious... what will happen if you open your hand, try to drop the object behind your back?
  • Won't get detected unless you have cameras all around the headset, and it won't be completely reliable even in front of you when it is partially occluded.
    The current goal of hand tracking, even on HoloLens 2, is to enable easier UI manipulation in your field of view, like grabbing objects to move them around, pinch them to resize them, and interact with buttons, sliders, ...
    I don't see this replacing motion controllers any time soon for games as it will be very difficult to match their reliability and convenience, and the added benefit of precise thumbsticks and trackpads for locomotion and navigation that can be used with very little thumb movements, just like Kinect didn't replace the gamepad. However, this would be great for some experiences, and especially great for more casual or productivity use. Typically things like watching a movie, having media controls without having to hold controllers, or managing your slate apps in Windows Mixed Reality without having to move from keyboard and mouse to motion controllers all the time, just using your hands to manage the floating windows.
  • They are also working on a wristband that scans the veins and tendons and reads the movement, enabling it to detect individual digit movement. One way or another they're going to be successful eventually. It was in the presentation yesterday. How is it that this was not bother to be mentioned?......