It's too late in the cycle for me to want to buy an Oculus Quest, but I'm excited about hand-tracking possibilities down the line.
The number of Oculus headsets has increased over the last few years, making it a challenge to know which system does what. The functionality is now limited to "select first-party apps" (like the browser and Oculus TV) and the Home interfaces (like the Library and Store), but considering hand tracking wasn't even supposed to launch until next year, it's a nice early present. As this is early days, further improvements and features will be added in the coming months.
On Monday, Oculus revealed that gesture controls would be added as an "experimental" feature to the Quest later this week.
The hand tracking test will be available to you once you've updated the Quest to v12.
The move, while still a small one, marks a major step forward for virtual reality headset's like the Ouculus Quest which had traditionally required the use of additional hardware - a set of handheld controllers - for games and other apps. Theoretically, that will allow you to manipulate objects and play games sans controller.
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In its announcement today, Oculus calls this an "initial version" of hand tracking, and considering that Quest users are getting the feature before developers do, that's an appropriate description.
The company also promised that what you see now is only the beginning.
While the experience will be somewhat limited in the early going, Oculus is releasing a new software development kit (SDK) next week that will enable developers and creators to build their own hands-free interactions.
Hand tracking will work for the main OS, and for core apps like Facebook's web browser and Oculus TV. However, gamers might be willing to accept simpler experiences if they feel more realistic by freeing them from controllers.