Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Oculus’ standalone VR headset the Oculus Quest will receive controller-free hand tracking support in early 2020. Likewise, developers will get access to an SDK to work hand-tracking into their own games early next year.
He didn’t offer a deep dive into how the new hand tracking operates on the Quest during the keynote, but the update will work with existing Quest headsets using the sensors already built into the headset that power its inside-out positional tracking.
"Our computer vision team developed a new method of using deep learning to understand the position of your fingers using just the monochrome cameras on Quest today—no active depth-sensing cameras, additional sensors, or extra processors required," explains a blog post from the Oculus team. "This technology approximates the shape of your hand and creates a set of 3D points to accurately represent your hand and finger movement in VR."
During the Oculus Connect 6 presentation, Zuckerberg points out that just 6 months ago VR required a complicated array of external equipment but, with this coming update, jumping into immersive VR experiences will legitimately only require a VR headset, in the case of the Oculus Quest.
“The hardware is getting out of the way and with each step we’re getting to a more immersive and natural experience,” said Zuckerberg.