All the fun of Beat Games’ VR rhythm slasher, minus the physical exercise.
When he’s not serving as the head of AR & VR at Shopify, Daniel Beauchamp, better known by his online handle “Pushmatrix“, is pushing the boundaries of Oculus Quest hand tracking technology and sharing his wild experiments with the online community.
Since rolling out on Oculus Quest headsets this past December, Beauchamp has been hard at work pumping out numerous experimental hand tracking projects, each more mind-bending than the last. This includes everything from a cheese grater demo that allows you to file your fingers down to your knuckles, to a VR Jenga experience in which the players’ fingers elongate after each turn.
Earlier today, Beauchamp shared his latest proof-of-concept, a miniature version of the hit VR rhythm game Beat Saber controlled using Oculus Quest hand tracking technology. In the videos provided by Beauchamp via his Twitter, the developer can be seen slicing his way through waves of blue-and-red blocks in an experience nearly identical to that of the original Beat Saber; only instead of using Oculus Touch controllers, Beauchamp cuts through miniaturized blocks using two tiny sabers attached to his index fingers. There’s even an “Expert Mode” which adds a saber to all ten digits, turning the players’ hand into a block-slicing weapon of death guaranteed to leave even General Grievous foaming at the mouth.
To further showcase the space-saving benefits of the unique experience, Beauchamp records himself performing from a seated position within a cramped commercial airliner. He’s even polite enough to wipe away the discarded neon remnants from his neighbors seat; what a guy! In a follow-up tweet, Beauchamp expresses his interest in AR headsets in particular, stating, “I’m looking forward to AR headsets + hand tracking to make our favourite games even more portable :)”.
Beauchamp’s miniature Beat Saber experience is a perfect example of the potential impact Oculus Quest hand tracking could have on the headsets portability. While the standalone technology offered by Quest makes it a breeze to transport, players still require a decent amount of space in order to properly experience most games; Beat Saber included. Beauchamp’s proof-of-concept shows how the VR rhythm experience can be condensed into a tighter, less physically-engaging format using the detailed movements afforded by Oculus Quest hand tracking. Who knows; we could be looking at a brand new genre of seated, hand tracking-powered experiences.
Unfortunately, Beauchamp’s mini Beat Saber experience is just a proof-of-concept at the moment. No word yet on if the experience will ever see an official release, though I expect the developer would first need to make a few visual changes in order to avoid any legal repercussion.
Image Credit: Daniel Beauchamp (Pushmatrix)