September 26, 2019 – Yesterday at OC6, Oculus announced a lineup of new features for Oculus Quest, which the company states will unlock Quest’s potential even further and expand the way people will interact with their favorite content, with even more features coming soon, according to the company.
Hand tracking is coming to Oculus Quest—no controller, external sensors, gloves, or PC required. Launching in early 2020, this technology will enable natural interaction for users by simply using their hands to gesture, interact with virtual objects, and communicate with friends in VR. It works by using deep learning to understand the position of the hands and fingers using Quest’s onboard cameras, then translating this into VR.
Oculus Link is a new way for people who own a Quest headset to access Rift content and experiences from their gaming PC. Starting this November, anyone who owns Quest and a gaming PC will have access to popular Rift games with Oculus Link software, which can be used with most high-quality USB 3 cables. Later this year, the company is releasing a premium optical fiber cable to provide maximum throughput and comfortable ergonomics. For developers, this means it’s now possible to build high-end PC games and experiences while taking into consideration the growing Quest community. Oculus Link will offer users the high-end gaming of Rift when connected to a PC, with the ease and portability of Quest on-the-go.
Go on a Quest
Users will be able to experience and use a variety of compatible apps from Oculus Go on Quest. Starting next week, there will be more than 50 popular Oculus Go apps available to Quest users. If users own an app on Oculus Go and it’s available on Quest, they will get the Quest version for free between now and the end of the year.
Coming next week to Quest, Passthrough+ is a feature originally launched on Rift S that gives people a stereo-correct, real-time view of their surroundings while in VR. Now possible on Quest thanks to advancements in high-performance image processing and 3D computation, Passthrough+ makes experiences on Quest more comfortable when stepping out of a play space. With Passthrough “on demand” shipping later this year, users will be able to check their surroundings at any time without removing the headset.
To make watching movies and TV shows easier, Oculus has also introduced updates to tracking that allow people to use Quest in environments that won’t work with the standard inside-out tracking, like in dark or dimly-lit rooms. Now, users can manually turn off tracking on Quest from the Settings menu, to make casual viewing of media apps easier and more comfortable from anywhere. Guardian boundaries—and some apps—require tracking however, so users are advised that neither will work if tracking is turned off. Quest headsets should only be used in a stationary standing or seated position when tracking is turned off.
Video credit: Oculus/YouTube
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.