The upcoming Oculus Quest hand tracking feature reduces battery life by just 7 minutes, Facebook said.
Hand tracking was announced during the week at Oculus Connect 6, the annual VR / AR conference hosted by Facebook. The functionality should be released early next year, it will allow users to interact with the Quest menu and supported applications without using touch controllers.
During a developer session called “Hand Tracking Deep Dive: Technology, Design, and Experiences,” engineer Robert Wang explained that maintaining low power consumption is a top priority when developing this feature.
This is partly due to the fact that hand tracking cannot be used simultaneously with touch controllers. The headset tracks the user’s fingers or their touch controllers, but not both objects at once. Thus, there is no energy consumption norm for the tracking controller.
The team used breakthroughs from recently published machine learning documents, such as deep vision and inverted residual networks. Professionals also used 8-bit integers instead of floating point numbers.
This is the first time users have ever seen finger tracking in a standalone headset. HTC Vive Focus offers basic hand tracking, but instead of tracking individual fingers, it only recognizes a set of predefined gestures.
At the same time, Facebook confirmed that hand tracking does not have a significant impact on battery life. The new technology will still allow users to play virtual reality without interruption for several hours. It also opens up the potential of the successor to Oculus Go, for which hand tracking is the only input method.