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Oculus Quest getting hand tracking early, now due this week

Was originally expected next year.

Oculus Quest's previously announced controller-free hand tracking will arrive a little sooner than expected. It's now due to release later this week, rather than the start of next year.

First unveiled back in September, Oculus Quest's native hand and finger tracking enables users to directly manipulate objects in a 3D environment with their hands, without the need for a controller. It works using the Quest's built-in monochrome cameras - no external sensors required - and, all being well, has the potential to be a massive advancement for VR.

However, expectations should be kept in check for the feature's rather limited debut. When this week's Quest v12 software update arrives, it'll be possible to use hand tracking to navigate and interact with Quest's Home interfaces, such as Library and Store, plus a selection of first-party apps including the Oculus Browser and Oculus TV.

"You can even set your floor height for a stationary Guardian boundary using your hands," explains Facebook in its announcement post, "no controller necessary".

New features, functionality, and improvements are promised as development continues into 2020. Additionally, the Quest's new SDK will begin rolling out next week, giving developers and creators the tools needed to implement controller-free hand tracking in their apps.

Users eager to try out hand tracking in its early form simply need to enable it in the Quest's Experimental Features menu when the v12 software has been downloaded and installed.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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