Oculus Quest gets hand tracking ahead of schedule

During the Oculus Connect 6 event in September, Oculus CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the Oculus Quest, the company's standalone VR headset, would be getting support for hand tracking in 2020. Today, though, the firm published a new blog post announcing the availability of the feature ahead of the original schedule.

The feature is rolling out as an "early consumer feature" this week with a software update to version 12. Next week, the capability will be available for developers with an updated SDK, so experiences can start to be built around it. For now, hand tracking can be enabled in the Experimental Features menu, and it can be used to navigate the home menu, including the store and library. Some built-in apps, like Oculus TV and Oculus Browser, also support hand tracking.

Most VR headsets on the market require the use of specific controllers, which the headset can track more easily than an articulate hand. Support for hand tracking should help make interactions in VR more natural, and it could also enable new experiences, since it may be able to track different kinds of hand gestures.

Hand tracking is the second major feature added to the Oculus Quest since the Oculus Connect 6 event. Last month, the headset gained a feature called Oculus Link, which lets users connect the headset to a separate PC, so it can be used in a similar fashion to the Oculus Rift.

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