Unity Introducing Platform-Agnostic Hand Tracking for Virtual Reality Developers
A Unity engine extension now allows developers to implement hand tracking on hardware like Meta Quest through OpenXR.
Developers who use the Unity Engine for VR hand-tracking implementations now get a new option through Unity’s “XR Hands” package.
The package allows developers to access hand-tracking data based on the OpenXR standard. So far, the new feature supports both Meta Quest (2 and Pro) and the Microsoft HoloLens 2 headsets. Additionally, OpenXR platforms that include hand tracking will be supported soon.
For the Quest 2 headset, developers will no longer require Meta’s OpenXR backend for hand-tracking implementations. Previously, Meta has been using the Oculus integration which is based on OpenXR and makes use of a proprietary extension along with a different joint arrangement from the standard.
OpenXR Hand Tracking
The new Unity ‘XR Hands’ Package completely relies on OpenXR and is, thus, compatible with Unity packages such as the “XR Interaction Toolkit”. The “XR Hands” package is currently in the pre-release version 1.1 for OpenXR.
What if you wanted to implement hand tracking with Open XR ? Well XR Hands 1.1 Prerelease Version for OpenXR, #XR Hands allows you to access hand tracking data from devices that support hand tracking.
🙏 YouTube shorts https://t.co/2YBrxeboGG
🧵 Thread 👇 pic.twitter.com/h49SdEPuwF
— Dilmer Valecillos (@Dilmerv) January 18, 2023
There is a demo of the package featuring a knife that spins after it is stabbed in the body. The system doesn’t work well for high-fiving or back-slapping in applications like the social VR app VRChat.
The hand tracking package can be manually added to the project’s manifest by any interested party. According to VR developer Dilmer Valecillos, the package doesn’t implement hand tracking but instead leverages appropriately updated plugins.
Here’s the docs link to install the package to your project. You just need to manually add the package to your manifest while it remains in prerelease.https://t.co/k9Hz5mpGjg
— Eric Provencher (@prvncher) January 11, 2023
According to Unity Staff Research Engineer Eric Provencher, it would also help to have an update to OpenXR 1.6.0. Provencher adds that some hand-tracking extensions will require activating in the OpenXR menu.
Meta notes that there has been an improvement in hand tracking with the Quest headsets. Its proprietary programming interface that is in version 2.1 now has fewer tracking crashes. The software is also capable of rapidly finding a “lost” hand following a tracking loss. The precision, pinch gesture and position prediction has improved considerably with the Hand Tracking 2.1.
The Hand Tracking 2.1 came with the Quest System Update v47. This improvement will provide considerable benefits for supported applications.https://virtualrealitytimes.com/2023/01/23/unity-introducing-platform-agnostic-hand-tracking-for-virtual-reality-developers/https://virtualrealitytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Unity-Hand-Tracking-for-VR-Developers-600x335.pnghttps://virtualrealitytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Unity-Hand-Tracking-for-VR-Developers-150x90.pngHapticsHardwareTechnologyA Unity engine extension now allows developers to implement hand tracking on hardware like Meta Quest through OpenXR. Developers who use the Unity Engine for VR hand-tracking implementations now get a new option through Unity’s “XR Hands” package. The package allows developers to access hand-tracking data based on the OpenXR standard....Rob GrantRob Grant[email protected]AuthorVirtual Reality Times