What you need to know
- Hand tracking has been upgraded and added to Meta's Presence Platform, which works with Unity, Unreal, and Native.
- Quest users will need to be on firmware v39 to get the update.
- Upgrades include improvements in tracking continuity, gesture support, more reliable movement, better performance, hand overlapping, clapping, and several others.
- Games like Cubism, Hand Physics Lab, Unplugged, and Liteboxer are already making use of the new upgrades.
Hand tracking on the Oculus Quest and Meta Quest 2 has always been fun but, largely, a frustrating experience. Meta tells us that's all about to change with the launch of Hand Tracking 2.0 on Quest which is now integrated into the Meta Presence Platform. Once your Quest has updated to firmware v39, any games that support the new hand tracking features will see an improvement.
Meta previously launched the Presence Platform (opens in new tab) last October to provide developers with simpler ways of including natural interactions like hand tracking and voice commands. This new v2.0 update brings about improved performance and accuracy thanks to machine learning improvements. Players will find that they can now move their hands faster and much more naturally, won't have as many problems if hands cross over or hide one another, and can enjoy a generally better hand tracking experience on Oculus Quest 2 (opens in new tab).
While only a few of the best Quest 2 games (opens in new tab) support hand tracking — like Unplugged (opens in new tab), the air guitar simulator — Meta is hoping the new improvements to tracking will make it so that more games incorporate the tech. Unplugged is actually one of the games launching with hand tracking improvements this week, including a complete revamp of the music note charts you'll play during songs. The video below shows how much more accurate tracking is and how developers can make experiences richer and allow for more detailed interaction.
Additionally, you'll find that games like Cubism (opens in new tab) and Hand Physics Lab (opens in new tab) are significantly more friendly to complex, natural hand movements, including the ability to more naturally move and rotate virtual objects with just your hands. That means you won't have to worry about the system losing tracking when you cross your hands or other things humans normally do when interacting with objects. Other titles like Liteboxer, were able to improve and add new hand tracking modes thanks to the improved speed and accuracy.
Meta provided a slew of video examples for the improvements, including fast waving (opens in new tab), grabbing objects and clapping (opens in new tab), and hand occlusion detection (opens in new tab). Quest 2 gamers won't need to do anything to enable the new hand tracking abilities. The updates are rolling out this week and any of the above-mentioned titles will have support for the new tracking. Developers who previously integrated hand tracking through the initial Presence Platform release will see their code updated to the latest version.
Meta Quest 2
The Meta Quest 2 might come with two motion controllers, but you won't need them for every game thanks to advanced hand tracking made possible by the headset's cameras.
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