Published on February 25th, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Three Totally Creative Uses of Quest Hand-tracking
It’s pretty easy to foresee that one day controllerless hand-tracking will one day be the norm in virtual reality. Ben Lang reports at roadtovr.com how one developer is already taking advantage of the Oculus Quest hand-tracking feature by creating new use cases. This tech is still in the early stages but the great potential is evident and it’s only a matter of time before we set down the controllers and let our hands do the work in VR environments. It will make the experience more natural and intuitive. You want to grip something in VR? Just grip it with your hand like you would in real life as opposed to pushing buttons or triggers on a controller. VR software should do whatever it can to simulate real life.
Image courtesy Daniel Beauchamp
Oculus brought controllerless hand-tracking to Oculus Quest as an experimental feature back in December, and while it’s useful for navigating around the headset’s menus when you don’t want to pick up the controllers, developers have begun prototyping more creative uses for the tech.
Controllerless hand-tracking on Quest is a great convenience feature. While we still expect controllers to be the go-to for hardcore games, there’s definitely opportunity for casual and novel games and experiences to prosper with hand-tracking.
Daniel Beauchamp is one VR developer that’s dreaming up creative uses for hand-tracking on Quest that go far beyond laser pointer and touchscreen interactions. He’s created a series of prototypes as a means of understanding the capabilities of the feature and what kind of interactions and experiences can bring delight to users. Here’s three that he shared recently.
Turning the tracked hand into its own independent object allows for a ‘remote control’-like capability where the hand propels itself around the environment by ‘crawling’ as the player continues to move the fingers on their real hand. Intriguingly, one could consider this a form of VR locomotion which only applies to a specific body part. This also extends the range of potential interactions in a more interesting way than 2DOF interactions like laser pointers and guns.
Harkening back to the ’90s fad of fingerboarding (AKA Tech Decks), Beauchamp envisions a game mechanic where players control a tiny skateboard with their fingers. In later experiment he even showed some basic physics, allowing the user to flip the board to do tricks.