Meta Quest 2 Users Can Now Swipe in VR With Bare Hands
In its new v50 OS update, Meta has announced a slew of new improvements to its Quest platform. Among these is an experimental “Direct Touch” feature that enables users to tap and swipe using their bare hands, without the need for VR controllers.
Meta has also rolled out other features like in-game multitasking for Meta Quest 2. The Meta Quest Pro controllers have also been upgraded.
Hand-tracking functionality is already available on the Quest platform but so far, users have been able to do no more than pinch in the air to interact in virtual reality.
With the new Direct Touch setting, users can now tap on buttons or swipe through the game library. Users can even use their bare hands to type on a virtual keyboard without having to use VR controllers.
Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg shared an Instagram reel a week ago showing a demo of the new functionality. From the reel, the feature appears to have the same functionality as the use of a smartphone or touchscreen. This will likely be more appealing than the use of controllers.
In the Instagram caption accompanying the reel, Zuckerberg described the new hand gestures as “much more natural.”
In the announcement it made today, Meta stated that the Direct Touch feature gives users “a more intuitive and engaging way” of interacting with the system as well as with 2D panels in general.
This feature can be added within the Experimental Settings tab and is available in both Quest 2 and Quest Pro.
Users on Meta Quest 2 will now have the in-game multitasking feature, previously only available on the Meta Quest Pro headset. Users playing games can now just choose the Meta Quest button to launch the 2D apps from their libraries, like Instagram, the Meta Quest Browser, etc.
Following the v50 update, the time it takes for self-tracking to commence on the Quest Touch Pro controllers decreased. When a user now wears the headset, the controllers will take less time to ‘understand’ where the user is. The update also brings faster responses for users when switching from hand tracking to controllers.
Meta said it will be launching more upgrades to the Meta Quest Touch Pro.
According to financial reports, the company‘s Reality Labs lost $13.7 billion in 2022. Against these losses, Reality Labs earned $2.16 billion in revenues. In spite of this, Meta is continuing to invest in this VR and AR division. Later this year, Meta will be launching its new generation standalone consumer VR headset, the Meta Quest 3.
With Apple expected to launch its AR/VR headset later in the year, Meta will have to contend with new stiff competition at home. According to a Bloomberg report, the Apple headset features advanced eye-tracking and hand-tracking functions.