Meta Quest 2’s Hand Tracking 2.0 was unveiled earlier in the week and during the unveiling, the company also announced that it had provided select developers early access to the controllerless hand-tracking technology to implement it in their apps and give feedback. Some of these developers have already implemented the technology in improving their apps and there are additional games and apps deploying the tech set to follow soon.
Hand Tracking 2.0 for Meta Quest 2 started rolling out on April 19, 2022. Developers with access have not only implemented it in some of their apps but they have also provided feedback on the improvements. Here is a look at five apps that already feature Meta Quest 2’s controllerless tracking capability.
Meta Quest 2’s new hand and finger detection offers a more reliable tracking functionality with fast hand movements. It even tracks hands that are partially covered. There are also improvements in gesture recognition with the new hand tracking.
Due to the developer trials permitted by Meta, there are already a number of VR games and apps that support the feature. These include the following: –
The virtual reality puzzle game Cubism is a timelessly fascinating 3D puzzle game and now it is getting more robust thanks to Hand Tracking 2.0 integration. You will notice the improvements most when hands are covering or crossing one another. Last year, Cubism got so9me improvements with hand tracking support and the implementation of Hand Tracking 2.0 makes things a lot better.
According to the game developer Thomas van Bouwel, the hand tracking upgrade is a major step in the improvement of tracking quality and will give the game additional consistency and stability. Cubism has previously used a hand tracking mechanism that leverages hand data input to generate a stable input method. Before, Cubism players also had to learn not to cross their hands as this had an adverse impact on the quality of the tracking. The Hand Tracking 2.0 considerably improves on this, enabling players to have consistent hand tracking and players are even able to switch off the hand smoothing by default.
Vacation Simulator first had hand tracking support in late 2020 so it has been possible to entirely play the game using your own hands, according to the studio behind the game Owlchemy Labs.
However, the previous hand tracking in Vacation Simulator has not been up to par. The Hand Tracking 2.0 will smooth some of the rough edges in the tracking. The new update of the game, update 1.3.0-38104 will include support for Hand Tracking 2.0. Try out and see if the new tracking gives you noticeable improvements in performance.
Unplugged: Air Guitar
The superior quality of tracking with Hand Tracking 2.0 is most noticeable in Unplugged: Air Guitar. This game best brings out the new tracking capabilities. You will notice considerable improvements in both hand and finger tracking in the game. In fact, the improvement in tracking was so good that the developer had to rework all the tracks in the game and increase their complexity.
The studio says the hand tracking update is a huge deal as Unplugged heavily relies on hand tracking to give players an authentic and immersive sense of the air guitar gameplay. Unplugged also features numerous fast hand movements as well as rapid chord changes among other difficult-to-track movements.
The developers say they have always wanted to give the game a higher quality of immersion that provides players with the feel of playing an actual guitar. Although the game still managed impressive and solid gameplay with the older hand tracking, they were forced to institute some limitations on the gameplay for a smoother experience that was free from the interruptions that you would expect with the implementation of such new technology into the gameplay. Hand Tracking 2.0 now takes things to a whole new level of immersion and accuracy. The new tracking has also improved the responsiveness in the gameplay and the developers have been able to do away with the erstwhile limitations and add all the perks that weren’t possible before. Some of these include faster changes in the finger positions as well as an increase in the number of notes. The notes are now more realistic, providing players with an authentic feel of the songs.
Unplugged will release the hand Tracking update soon. The studio is waiting for the rollout of the firmware version 39.0 to all Quest users before it launches the update.
Hand Physics Lab
As the name implies, this is the quintessential hand tracking application in VR. This unique and innovation-focused game explores the extent to which the current hand tracking technology can be pushed as well as the many new forms of interaction that it allows.
However, Hand Physics Lab still operated within the limitations of Quest hand tracking. The developer Dennys Kuhnert made it intentionally so in order to explore the extent to which Quest hand tracking can go with Hand Physics Lab. Hand Tracking 2.0 will drive the hand tracking possibilities in Hand Physics Lab to a whole new level of immersion.
In their feedback following the implementation of Hand Tracking 2.0, the developer states that a major challenge with the development of a hands-first application has been the level of reliability and accuracy that the hand tracking system provides. Its Hand Physics Lab system was developed to bring out the possibilities of hand tracking at the time and to challenge users to work with the limitations of the technology. With the unveiling of Hand Tracking 2.0, the developer hopes more people will get to explore what hand tracking provides in immersive experiences. Kuhnert describes Meta’s Hand Tracking 2.0 as a “big step forward” for natural and intuitive hand interactions.
Liteboxer is an interactive and full-body at-home virtual reality boxing workout game which is also based on the Liteboxer boxing device. With Liteboxer, you can practice boxing at home inside virtual reality. The game features cutting-edge simulators and also syncs with your favorite songs. It can adapt to your goals and even tracks your progress. The workouts in Liteboxer are akin to the old amusement park title Whac-a-Mole. However, Liteboxer is a lot faster and features more punches. It feels like training using a punching bag. The app measures various metrics in the workouts including timing, accuracy, and power. According to the app’s developers, the workouts in the game are now a lot more “flawless” with Hand Tracking 2.0. The workouts in the game need the player to throw quick punches and the hand tracking must, therefore, keep up with the quick pace. The devs are impressed with the update and the general direction that hand-tracking is taking on the Quest platform.
Meta is expecting that more apps will roll out in the future that will support both Hand Tracking 2.0 as well as its presence platform. The company also promised future tracking updates. With this and future updates, end-users and developers can start making sense of the form that the future metaverse might take.
The Hand Tracking 2.0 update does not support Meta Quest 1. Additionally, users will need to install the firmware version 39.0 or higher in order to use the new hand tracking. Meta has been gradually rolling out the firmware to Quest users over the past two weeks. It will take at least two weeks for the firmware to reach all users.
- April 24, 2022