Oculus Connect 6 is starting today, and ahead of the festivities Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased a video showing off some pretty nuanced hand interaction, something he says will be apart of his talk today. Now, we know that Quest will soon include optical hand-tracking.

Update (1:15 PM ET): Mark Zuckerberg announced on stage at Oculus Connect 6 that Quest will soon have hand-tracking. Zuckerberg maintains it will arrive on Quest sometime early next year as an experimental feature for consumers and an SDK for developers.

In a blogpost, the company says its computer vision team developed “a new method of using deep learning to understand the position of your fingers using just the monochrome cameras on Quest today.” This means no active depth-sensing cameras, additional sensors, or extra processors required. It can, the company says, approximate the shape of your hand and creates a set of 3D points to accurately represent your hand and finger movement in VR.

It will also be available for demo here at OC6, so we’ll be bringing our impressions to you as soon as possible. Check out the reveal video below:

Original Article (12:20 PM ET):

“Putting the final touches on my talk for Oculus Connect tomorrow. I’m excited to share our latest work in augmented and virtual reality,” Zuckerberg writes.

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It’s not clear exactly what new research Zuckerberg will present, although it may have something to do with the company’s recent acquisition plans of brain-computer interface startup CTRL-Labs, which develops a wrist-worn neural input device.

CTRL-Labs so called CTRL-kit device is a wrist-worn wearable that the company describes as a “non-invasive neural interface platform that lets developers reimagine the relationship between humans and machines with new, intuitive control schemes.”

The kit was “in preview for select developers” but not yet openly available at the time of the acquisition.

At this point, who knows. If you’re itching to find out, you can watch the livestream along with us here.

Road to VR will have feet on the ground at this year’s Oculus Connect, so check back for breaking news, hands-ons, and everything AR/VR to come from the event.

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  • Darshan

    Bye bye controllers 2020, no controllers battery issues too, two less hardwares too be carried along, more immersion too less friction ….also most important…minus controllers cost.. welcome $300 Quest.

    • Trenix

      Except, you need buttons to play your games. Also remember the Kinect? The failed device that never was reliable? Yeah, hand motions and all this other camera related crap, wont be mainstream anytime soon. Nothing beats perfect tracking.

      • Greyl

        You can’t do proper finger tracking with Index controllers, though. You need a camera to track gestures that Index can’t do, like crossing fingers, for example.

        • Darshan

          yes we will see soon, may be some examples of demo will be shared here on R2V, it is also shown in Keynote hence i am sure progress must be worth mention as Mark himself shown it as plan to remove controllers too.

    • Justos

      hand tracking will not replace controllers anytime soon. It is meant for more slow, precise movements.

    • CharlieSayNo

      The finger tracking announcement was a huge surprise, but I am struggling to believe it will work reliably enough to abandon controllers.

      It kind of reminds me of the initial Kinect trailers for the Xbox 360 – the promise and the reality were worlds apart.

      • care package

        It won’t replace controllers. Mimicking button presses using hand gestures just doesn’t sound practical to me at all. Maybe when they start implementing brain interface could you then lose the controller.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Controllers are good for a lot of gametypes, personally I never liked the gestures on my mobile, so I also won’t like stuff like having to pinch to activate something (unless ofcourse it’s something like a ball visually which I have to pinch).

  • Darshan

    At $300 Quest will breach all acceptance barrier …..as what one can not buy, doesn’t exist for it. Also less hardwares less malfunction. So it’s huge victory if properly working.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      And that’s what Facebook is aiming for, a headset which is affordable for a larger crowd. but a lot of people here are too closeminded to see that, all they care for is their own unrealistic view.

      • care package

        Totally agree with you here. Too many crying for high spec’d hardware that requires a high spec’d PC, too short-minded to realize all that would do is keep VR limited from growth. We need more adoption for better software.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Yes, and let’s not forget that the mobile socs are getting cheaper and faster every year (the seem to advance much faster than regular CPU/GPU’s), so hopefully they’ll release a Quest 2 which has slightly better displays and an extra camera for even better tracking, but with a much faster soc than the current one.

  • tvguy

    This would be really cool for boxing games. Otherwise, you’ll still need controllers for many games / experiences. I’d rather hold a controller and fire the trigger for shooting games, for example. Very impressive what we are getting with the Quest. Finger tracking, Oculus Go games, Rift / tethered PC games, etc. Exciting times for VR :)

  • uKER

    Am I the only one wondering why hand tracking hasn’t been announced for the Rift S?

    • I think, as of today, the Rift S is no longer on anyone’s thoughts… other then the poor souls who own them.

      • care package

        My question is, will the quest be able to pull off the same hand tracking accuracy as the S, with one less camera. I don’t play the Onward type games, but many do.

  • I’ve said it before, hand tracking for games is not much of interest, it’s just too limiting and unreliable compared to joysticks…. but for social chat, it’s a *MUST*!

    This will be SO USEFUL for all chat games, like AltSpace and VRChat. If you’ve never experienced chatting in VR using Leap Motion in AltSpace, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Hands are SO IMPORTANT to communication. I can not state this enough. It’s a game changer when you can talk and gesture with full use of your hands.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      bullshit, it’s just as much of interest for games as it is for social chat (which I actually doubt it’ll be useful for). It all just depends on the games you’re into..

      • care package

        “it all just depends on the games you’re into…” lmao. Especially if you don’t mind ignoring 90% of them. Can’t wait to play virtual wack-a-mole and virtual Jenga.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          I guess you are way to limited in what kind of games would work perfectly with hand tracking..

          • care package

            Maybe so. If you had to guess, what percentage of VR games out now could use just hand tracking.

    • fforcey

      Sure for social it’s incredible. It will take probably years before we get bored of fondling and sexually harrassing other people in VR worlds.

      But don’t underestimate the potential for gaming either. We haven’t seen yet the possibilities. It may give us opportunties to play games in completely new ways, far more immersive.

  • Vegeta785

    This is great!
    Like what Walter Sharrow said, must for social chat, but for other stuff not as much.
    So, maybe Haptic gloves made by Facebook/Oculus in the future?

  • Ugur Ister

    This is very nice and i look forward to developing and using content which makes nice use of this, for content for which it makes more sense than using controllers.
    But i hope they do not drop supporting (and developing further) the controllers once they (also) have this, because different types of content benefit more/less from each.
    For example for many games having more buttons, sticks etc is quite useful.
    Also for lots of content types it is just feeling better to hold an actual physical object and press against it etc for interactions with virtual objects.
    Holding an item/weapon in the hand feels better when holding a controller than if one just squeezes the hand in the air for example.
    Just as basic example already Beat saber would be less fun if one would not hold an actual object in the hand which one swings around.
    Other types of content are of course totally sense making without controller, like for example i can imagine some video player apps and various other things making total sense with hand/finger controls instead of needing to use controllers if that’s no benefit in those.
    So yes, long story short, i want both to coexist going forward and i was slightly worried when in the presentation it sounded like they see it as once the finger tracking is in, the controllers are a bit a thing of the past.
    I don’t think that would be a good decision and that would be quite sad (and limiting).

    • Greyl

      They could make it so that you hold one controller for movement and use your free hand for actions, etc. But let’s be realistic, the porn applications of this are where the real money is, lol.

      • care package

        So far it hasn’t been, so why would hand tracking be any different.

        • Greyl

          What hasn’t been? Porn applications? They’re already making a ton of money on Patreon; like 1000’s of dollars a month for Waifu Sex Simulator, Virt A Mate, Fallen Doll and many more. Hand Tracking is planned to be supported in most of these games and more, in fact, most were previously using Leap motion for hand tracking. So yes, it is a very big deal for VR porn. And coupled with a VR headset that’s low cost to entry and it’s going to play a big factor in the adoption of PCVR headsets.

          • care package

            I never said it wasn’t a big deal or it didn’t make money. You claimed it’s where the REAL money is. Facebook alone just claimed 100 million dollars worth of software has been sold. I wouldn’t mind seeing Steams numbers on top of that. I think it makes you feel better to think everyone out there is as equally perverted. Give it time. It’s a growing trend.

          • Greyl

            I didn’t say it’s where the only money is, either. And likewise, you can’t say it’s not where the “real money” is, either, as there hasn’t been a widespread / mainstream solution to VR controller-free hand tracking at a consumer friendly price really until this moment.

            The reality is, controller-free hand tracking has a lot more application with porn, than it does with gaming. With gaming, there’s still a lot of caveats to it, such as responsiveness, movement, turning, tracking dead spots, etc.

            Whereas with VR porn, it’s actually the controllers which are more the problem; they add to the friction factor that impedes the user from quickly getting in and out of VR porn experiences.

          • fforcey

            I believe that most of the people that use Gear VR, Oculus Go and all the Cardboard type devices use it for porn. Sure it’s not where all the money is but it’s definitely a killer app for porn adoption.

    • care package

      It was still a long story.

  • The Mogget

    This has so many benefits! Everyone made a big deal about how that new Index with its old-fashioned tracking had a special slot on the front for some hand tracking mod down the line, and now we see that the inside-out tracking on the lowly Quest can do it with no mods necessary!

    While a controller-free experience is an awesome goal, I would love to see this implemented in controller games too. There are situations in which you need to hit buttons and holding a toy gun would obstruct the view. This could make the touch controllers more like the Index knuckles (another much ado about that in vain) and make the motions they track now like pointing more reliable. Tracking your hand and the controller it holds both would be the most reliable experience.

  • Jimmy Ray

    It will be interesting of what comes of this. Has Medal of Honor been confirmed to work with the link?