Anyone who has used or seen virtual reality in action knows that although scenery can be realistically duplicated, the act of picking up items can be difficult and unnatural. However, this might be about to change.
In order for a virtual hand to appear to grab hold of an object in a realistic way, developers often have to spend a lot of time to animate the hand model for intricate movements and precise positions. The more options there are for where the hand can grab an object, the more time the developer has to spend to articulate the hand into the correlating position.
There are other options; the hand used to grab the object can disappear when the item is held, or there can be a single fixed position for the hand to be in while in contact with an object. However, these shortcuts greatly reduce the realism of the experience.
This is why developer Luca Mefisto is building a tool which makes use of Quest’s hand-tracking to capture hand poses in real-time. The system allows developers to capture the position of their own hand around a virtual object, and store this as a grip option for holding that item. This enables a user to interact with the object, with the virtual hand snapping realistically to the closest natural position.
This will dramatically decrease the time it takes to make intricate interactions which make the experience a lot more immersive. Although Quest’s hand tracking is needed for creating the hand positions, Mefisto says that the tool will work for games and experiences which work with either hand tracking or handheld remote controls.
It’s really exciting to see the future of virtual reality, and I hope that Luca’s tool will help developers to be able to create even more realistic immersive experiences. Check out Luca on Twitter @LucaMefisto for the latest on this and other projects, and make sure to follow us @SeaBroIT for the latest tech news and insights.