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Quest 2 hand-tracking update lets you high-five in VR

The virtually reality headset formerly known as the Oculus Quest 2 will get an upgrade, which offers support for more hand gestures, without the need to use the controllers.

The upgrade for the Presence Platform API opens support for hand-over-hand interactions, like clapping, passing objects between hands, or giving high fives.

It also includes more accurate representation of the thumbs up gesture, even if the rest of your fingers are obscured. There’s also better support for waving, thanks to improved recognition of fast hand gestures (stop giggling at the back!)

Right now the features are experimental, but developers will soon be able to build the new gestures into their apps. The hand tracking is enabled by the cameras within the headset, but Meta (nee Oculus) has improved the ability of those sensors to recognise the parts of the hand obscured from view.

In a blog post, the company explains: “We’ve developed a new method of applying deep learning to better understand hand poses when the device’s cameras can’t see the full hand or when the hand is moving quickly. This opens up the use of hands in apps that require robust tracking and more complex gestures.”

You can see some of the advancements in the brief video clips below…

What we might see eventually, as a result of this, is developers including more gestures within their games because they’re better recognised by the headset. Hardware improvements, with the rumoured Meta Quest Pro coming up, are also likely to improve on these cameras, meaning better initial recognition of the hands for the API to work with.

“Overall, more natural interactions in VR, without reaching for controllers has to be a positive. We envision a future where your hands are able to move as naturally and intuitively in the metaverse as they do in real life,” the company says.

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