SideQuest Gets New Quest Hand Tracking Demo Games
SideQuest and Handtracking: New demo games with native hand tracking for Oculus Quest have been released and can be installed on Quest by sideloading via SideQuest.
Virtual reality enthusiasts have long wished for a VR experience that they could interact with using their own hands and fingers without the controllers. Until now, users have had to rely on data gloves or haptic gloves such as Manus prime Haptic or virtual reality glasses mods such as Leap Motion.
Oculus Quest recently got native hand tracking for the first time which opens up a world of possibilities for controller-free hand-tracking through the tracking cameras of the standalone virtual reality headset. The Quest native hand-tracking can be used to operate the Quest Menu, Oculus Browser and Oculus TV. The first experimental demos are just the beginning of the possibilities that can be unlocked with native hand-tracking and they are very impressive.
Several developers have rolled out several proof-of-concept games and apps that make use of new controller-free hand tracking functionalities following the release for the software development kit (SDK) for the Oculus Quest platform last week.
A few weeks ago, Oculus Quest had gotten an update for the beta support for the controller-free hand tracking. It is only now that this is being implemented as an experimental feature for use not only in the Oculus Quest menus but also in Oculus Browser and Oculus TV.
Following the release of the developer SDK, Oculus Quest developers are now able to optionally update their games and applications so as to provide support for native (controller-free) hand tracking as a form of input.
First Hand Tracking Demos Now Available through SideQuest
The corresponding interface in the Oculus Quest software development kit (SDK) for hand tracking is now available to developers. Oculus expects many of these developers to come up with really cool applications in the near future.
The first real apps are expected to arrive in early 2020 according to Facebook but there are already a few small proof-of-concept applications that leverage the new hand-tracking SDK and demonstrate the feasibility of native hand tracking. However, Quest users have to get them to the Oculus Quest platform via a semi-legal way through SideQuest. Throug sideloading via SideQuest, users can install these hand tracking demos to demonstrate or try out the feasibility of the hand tracking concept.
These proof-of-concept applications are not fully-fledged applications or games. They are simply small experimental projects that have been created to demonstrate the potential of what the hand tracking feature can achieve and how the apps and games built on the hand-tracking SDK might look like in the future.
One of these is Might of the Gods: Sun Shard where the user “plays God” with their own hands. The player deploys their god-scale hands to snip or crush puny little figures who run towards them within a medieval setting. The gameplay is not in-depth but it marvelously demonstrates what hand-tracking games and apps might look like when developers take their time to apply the SDK to the fullest.
There is also Virtual Piano which lets you strum the piano via Quest’s native hand-tracking. However, in this demo app, there is still limited accuracy as well as a lack of haptic feedback on the piano so don’t expect a flawless piano strumming experience.
The official hand tracking SDK demo app where you control a move using buttons has also been included as an example to interested developers. This is also available for installation via SideQuest. In this demo app, you will move a tiny train around a track where you control the train using buttons that can be pressed with fingers through hand tracking.
You can find these apps on SideQuest Store and they are all free as these are sideloaded apps which have not been approved and are not available on the official Oculus Quest Store. Check our article on SideQuest for details on how to use it to sideload apps into Quest.
There is already a long lineup of Oculus Quest apps that will support native hand tracking next year.