Oculus Quest now works without controllers, sometimes

Yolanda Curtis
December 11, 2019

I can't tell you how many virtual-reality games I've played where everything just would've flowed better if only I could've used my hands to interact with the world like I would in real life.

"You can even set your floor height for a stationary Guardian boundary using your hands", explains Facebook in its announcement post, "no controller necessary".

Oculus has stated that the hand-tracking support for Quest is "an early consumer feature" which will be rolled to developers from next week. Though it'll be a little barebones at the start, Oculus says it will continue to build out the feature as we move into 2020.

As noted by The Verge, Oculus has made advancements in software, specifically 'new techniques in deep learning and model-based tracking, ' which have enabled the ability to let users operate the device sans controller.

You don't have to wait until 2020 to try Oculus Quest hand tracking, at least so long as you're willing to accept some limits. From treadmills to haptic feedback gloves, developers have seemingly tried everything except the most obvious - simple hand tracking. Well, the holidays are the flawless time for delightful surprises, because Oculus revealed today that hand tracking is actually coming later this week.

To take advantage of the new feature, users first have to install the v12 update, out today, then enable hand tracking in the Experimental Features menu.

Next week Oculus says it will begin rolling out access to handtracking for developers looking to make games and apps that don't require a controller according to The Verge.

Hand tracking will engage users like never before. The Oculus store, the TV browser, and the Oculus home is what users will first get to control.

To get the feature, Quest owners just need to update their headset to firmware version 12 when it becomes available to them this week. After that, expect support for numerous current games and apps to roll out a few weeks down the line.

"To switch between your hands and Touch controllers, just use the new toggle switch in your Oculus Home menu", Oculus continued.

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