28 January 2020

Opportunities for using Oculus Quest hand tracking for professionals

We told you about it in a previous article , the Oculus Quest, the latest VR headset from the Facebook subsidiary, has now been equipped with an update allowing do hand tracking (hand tracking).

Interesting on paper, but is it really reliable? And what interest for our businesses Training , of the maintenance and marketing ?

We tested for you, this new feature, in several concrete test projects . Our opinion after experimentation:

Good quality follow-up

The hand recognition and tracking are surprisingly reliable for a stand-alone helmet and a functionality that one would have thought accessory. All even complex movements of the fingers are recognized and displayed with very little latency on the screen. Occasional tracking losses only occur if several fingers are obscured by the second hand or too far from the infrared cameras of the helmet. Similar or even better results than those obtained on Leap Motion, which is currently the best reference in hand tracking technologies for PC headsets.
We pushed this monitoring to its limits by testing the result with objects in hand (see our video 1st video) and even there, the results remain good: if we notice some tremors in the virtual representation of the hands, their general position remains very satisfactorily tracked.
A no more to an even greater immersion since it will allow you, in your training scenarios e.g. picking up and handling real objects (tools, pens), without leaving the virtual world.

A natural grip

By freeing yourself from the levers, you take one more step in the” improved ergonomics of VR applications : no more tedious tutorials to explain which button to press on the joystick to grab an object, which to click on another etc … gestures are now done naturally and intuitively (see our example of buttons to press in our 2nd video). Of time saved on your scenarios training and a better impression for your learners.
The only downside: the lack of haptic feedback removes the feeling of actually holding an object. But, as seen previously, it is possible to overcome this lack by using small real objects if they do not hide the hand too much.

What about performance limitations?

As mentioned in our previous article, the Oculus Quest is an autonomous headset, running on Android, and having only the computing power of a latest generation smartphone . Too low for a complex VR environment? Not so sure: By applying our know-how on optimization techniques for mobiles , it is possible to achieve convincing results (opposite a game for finding anomalies in a service station)
And these techniques evolve very quickly . Google offers for example a product named Google Seurat allowing by a clever process, to capture a high quality environment on PC and of restore it faithfully on less powerful devices.
Finally, the new cable Oculus Link allows you to benefit from all the power of a PC for the calculation of environments and their restitution in the Quest. If this solution does not yet allow the benefit of Hand Tracking today, we can bet that it will become available very soon.

Our results

We are very pleasantly surprised by this new functionality of the Oculus Quest and convinced by the perspectives it opens up on our area of expertise.

An idea for a project? Do not hesitate to contact us !

Remi Ludwig