Navigate the Quest Home interface and first-party Oculus apps with your bare hands.
Once you’ve updated your headset, head to your settings and turn on hand tracking via the Experimental Features menu. Once activated, you’ll then be able to navigate your way throughout the Quest Home interface as well as first-party Oculus apps like Oculus TV and the Oculus Browser using a series of natural hand gestures, such as pinching and swiping. You can also control certain settings, such as setting the floor height for stationary guardian (sorry, no finger painting room-scale guardians).
We had a chance to go hands-on with the experimental during OC6 2019, and while we were pleasantly surprised by how quickly the headset was able to calibrate a user’s fingers, the feature isn’t without its flaws, specifically when it comes to tracking quicker movements. Thankfully, alternating between your real hands and the Touch controllers is just a matter of toggling a switch located in your Oculus Home menu.
Still, it’s an extremely fun way of interacting with a VR environment. In our demo, we fiddled around with a variety of objects located inside a medieval-era laboratory, including a witches cauldron emitting a series of gooey bubbles you could pop with your fingers and a set of candles with flames that danced around your hands.
After our first outing with the feature, we said that hand tracking–in its current iteration–would best be served as a menu navigation tool; and that’s precisely what Oculus is doing.
Next week Oculus will release an SDK for developers, allowing them to integrated hand tracking functionality into their own projects.
“Developers and creators now have the power to unlock controller-free hand interactions in Quest apps for the first time,” states Oculus in an official release. “We can’t wait to see what kinds of content they’ll dream up and ship as they build new experiences with hands: from more expressive gestures in social apps to more efficient workflows in business training modules, and more.”
“We hope hand tracking will make VR more approachable for newcomers to try by removing the need to learn controller functions. And for those who own Quest, when the hardware melts away you can be fully immersed in the magic of VR while connecting with others in a seamless, intuitive way.”
As stated above, v12 will begin rolling out to headsets this week, so don’t freak out if you don’t see an available update just yet.
Feature Image Credit: Oculus