Published on May 19th, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Oculus Quest Expands Safety, Hand Tracking, and Remote Work Options
While Apple continues to share only aspirations about their virtual reality plans, the Oculus Quest continues to build new features and value. More Quest improvements are described in this post by Jeremy Horwitz at VentureBeat including the beginnings of wider use of handtracking which is a feature to keep a close eye on. The enterprise use case of handtracking has incredible potential in areas such as training and many industries are watching to see how this technology matures. Oculus is certainly leading the way right now and if they target their focus on the enterprise they will receive heightened interest.
Photo Above: Elixir from Magnopus is one of the first several Oculus Quest titles to use hand tracking rather than requiring a wireless controller for input. Image Credit: Magnopus
One year after the Oculus Quest first hit stores, Facebook’s all-in-one virtual reality headset is widely believed to be one of the industry’s most successful and innovative products, benefiting from frequent drips of new OS features and soft sales statistics. Today, the company is celebrating Quest’s first anniversary with a collection of updates, notably including improvements to the headset’s integrated and third-party software capabilities, along with some interesting details on app sales.
Perhaps the most visible improvements are coming to Quest’s safety system, Guardian, which is adding a Playspace Scan feature to automatically identify real-world objects that may trigger Guardian warnings. This allows users to manually remove them before fully immersing in VR. The Guardian wireframe border will also expand beyond its current single color (red), letting users choose blue, purple, or yellow options to flag physical contact danger zones.
After five months of beta testing, Quest’s hand tracking feature is finally becoming generally available to users, and Facebook will officially open the floodgates to third-party developers on May 28. Beyond Quest’s OS-level use of the feature, several hand-controlled titles will be available for purchase in the Oculus Store this month, including Magnopus’s Elixir, Aldin Dynamics’ Waltz of the Wizard, and Fast Travel’s Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets. Users interested in exploring hand tracking within VR films may prefer the Cinematic Narratives Set, a two-movie bundle with a Colin Farrell-voiced romantic story called Gloomy Eyes, and a “world of miniatures” film called The Line.
Noting the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on working from home, Facebook says the Oculus Store will increase its focus on productivity and collaborative apps over the coming months, adding the multi-user, cross-platform XR meeting app Spatial, as well as a distraction-free VR workspace app called Immersed this summer. The latter app promises to provide Quest users with access to multiple computer screens at once, with the option to work by yourself or share a space and/or screens with coworkers.