Future arm tracking feature for Oculus Quest shortens battery life by only 7 minutes, Facebook reports.
Hand tracking was announced during the week at the annual VR / AR Facebook conference at Oculus Connect 6. Releasing early next year, it will allow users to interact with the Quest menu and supported applications without using touch controllers.
During a developer talk, "Deep Dive Manual: Technology, Design, and Experience," explained engineering director Robert Wang that low energy use was a top priority in developing this feature.
Part of the explanation for this is that hand tracking cannot be used at the same time as touch controllers. The headset tracks the user's fingers or their Touch controllers, but not both at once. Thus, there is no normal use of controller tracking energy
The team uses breakthroughs of recently published machine learning articles such as deep convolutions and inverted residual networks. They also used 8 bit integers rather than floating point numbers.
This is the first time we've ever seen finger tracking in a stand-alone headset. HTC Vive Focus offers basic hand tracking, but instead of tracking individual fingers, it recognizes only a set of predefined gestures.
Confirmed that Facebook hand tracking has no significant impact on battery life, media applications such as BigScreen and passive experience should be able to manually track their default input method and still allow users to play for hours. It also opens up the potential of a successor to Oculus Go, for which hand tracking is the only contribution involved.
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