Facebook entered the world of Virtual Reality with some aims. One of those was that of bridging the gap between people. Especially for those who are miles apart. Now it is possible for friends to interact and play in a variety of virtual reality apps like Facebook Spaces. The way players are depicted in virtual reality is still basic. At the recently held F8, Oculus demoed their work on the technology tracking hand movements. This will help achieve better VR immersion and more authentic virtual avatars.
The Core Tech unit of Oculus says that they are trying to convert all their research projects into technologies. Such technologies that are practical will be used in products in the future. Other than the hand-tracking technology, they have also come up with a mock for what Oculus calls the “Half Dome”. A user gets a full 140 degree view with the “Half Dome” headset. It will also provide a varifocal display.
The recent hand movements tracking technology for better VR immersion from Oculus consists of a system that is based on computers with an ML (machine learning) algorithm that optimizes itself. This gives the most accurate results. These results are accurate for synergy with a single hand or with both hands as well as those between an object and a hand. The technology can also register snapping motions.
A system based on markers tracked the hand movements. This data was later made into imagery consisting of 2D images. This enabled setting up a neural network that was intricate and complex. This network helps uniquely identify the marker positions across a big set of imagery consisting of hand poses. This helped the system identify and learn each and every hand position. Evidently, this system can now work with any camera input that consists of a user’s hands. This system will be able to solve the hand positions without the need for any markers.
The company measured their success using what they called a “Tracking Success Rate”. Oculus has some amazing results scoring a full 100% on one hand tracking. They claim that this is an grand feat for better VR immersion. It seems true considering that the other methods ofhand-tracking scored about 90.49%. They even claim that they far outweigh the other methods in two hand and hand-object interactions.
Once the hand-tracking is fully functional in VR experiences it will prove to be extremely useful for mobile headsets. With the VR headsets for mobiles, there is a need to carry controllers separately. Hand-tracking will provide input without the need for controllers which will greatly benefit headsets for mobiles. What Oculus has achieved by far seems very promising though the actual flaws will only be seen when it is available for use. At this stage, one cannot view the actual risks on use.
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This article was greatly influenced by an article by Ben Lang @RoadToVr.com