Facebook is transforming its standalone Oculus Quest virtual reality headset into a more advanced platform with every new update in its system software.
The latest Facebook update, a version 16 of the system that runs Oculus Quest and which rolls out this week, enables the setup of the owner’s “roomscale Guardian boundaries without controllers by using hand tracking instead.” This is an important addition as the Quest headset already features one of the slickest approaches to room set up in virtual reality.
The user wears the headset and then uses the controllers to paint an outline of their available space on the floor. The system is quick, intuitive and enables the user to get into a virtual reality experience much faster such as by mounting lasers or cameras to their walls and then tracing their spaces before they wear the headset.
In December, Facebook added an experimental controller-free hand tracking to the Oculus Quest headset and it is now set on a path to build out a future ecosystem for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality hardware that doesn’t require controllers to operate. It is expected that some games would be updated to make them compatible with hand tracking and adding a guardian set up without the use of controllers adds an extra piece to the puzzle.
UploadVR carried out an analysis of a driver code that was discovered by a developer and suggested that future Facebook Virtual Reality headsets could feature cameras that would be able to sample out their surroundings at higher than rates than is possible with the current Oculus Quest headset. This could result in a more robust hand tracking in future systems.
Currently, Quest’s hand tracking is still labeled as “experimental” and when using the system, a user hands can jitter or shake a bit. If you already own an Oculus Quest headset, you can download some of the hand tracking demos on SideQuest. There will likely be some improvements in the quality of the hand tracking before apps on the platform begin adding support from Oculus Store.
The new v16 update will also incorporate an AR-like view for the user’s surrounding room as an Oculus Home option along with the ability to open links that have been shared on Facebook in Virtual Reality.