Motion controllers are so 2016.
Meta today announced a handful of significant updates on their way to the Presence Platform designed to improve its hand-tracking capabilities. This includes improved tracking, new gestures, and over-lapping hand movements just to name a few.
Originally released this past October, the Presence Platform features a suite of powerful capabilities such as Passthrough, Spatial Anchors, and Scene Understanding, all of which can be used to create immersive mixed reality experiences.
Todays update introduces even more functionality in the form of an improved Hand Tracking API. Here’s a quick rundown of todays key improvements:
- Step-function improvement to tracking – There’s nothing worse than your Quest headset losing track of your hands mid-game. New improvements to tracking continuity means a more reliable hand-tracking experience.
- Improved gesture recognition – Hand-tracking interactions such pinch, poke, and grab have been improved as have custom gestures built using Presence Platform’s Interaction SDK.
- “Hand-over-hand” interactions – A new method of deep learning has lead to improvements to gesture recognition. The system can now understand hand poses even when the entirety of your hand isn’t visible by the onboard cameras. You can now clap, give high-fives, and perform more accurate gestures.
Meta provided early access to these new improvements to a select group of Quest games with hand-tracking support, including Cubism, Hand Physics Lab, Liteboxer, and Unplugged: Air Guitar.
“This update to hand tracking is a big step forward in tracking quality and makes playing Cubism with hands feel a lot more stable and consistent,” said Cubism developer Thomas Van Bouwel in an official release. “Previously, Cubism’s hand tracking relied on smoothing the hand data input to produce a stable input method. Furthermore, players needed to be taught not to cross their hands since this negatively affected tracking. This is all improved with the latest hand tracking—which is consistent enough for me to turn off hand smoothing by default.”
“This update to hand tracking is a big step forward for natural and intuitive interactions with hands,” added Hand Physics Lab developer Holonautic. “One of the biggest challenges when building a hands-first application is the reliability and accuracy of hand tracking provided by the system. Hand Physics Lab was designed to highlight what was possible at the time and to challenge the user to play with the limitations of the technology. With this big improvement, we hope more people will discover what hand tracking has to offer to immersive experiences.”
Image Credit: Meta