Hand tracking on Meta’s Quest VR headsets is about to get better. The new v50 update allows you to “touch” things like menu buttons or virtual keyboards using just your hands, meaning it’s easier than before to use your hands for certain functions rather than relying on the Quest controllers or a squeeze gesture.
When Meta first rolled out hand-tracking to its Quest headsets in late 2019, you had to squeeze to “select” something, meaning you squeeze to scroll through text or click a button. But the new hand-tracking features will be available as an experimental setting that Meta calls “Direct Touch.” “Direct Touch is a great improvement on our hand tracking technology, providing a more intuitive and engaging way to interact with the system and 2D panels in general,” Meta wrote in a blog post.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated the new hand tracking in an Instagram video where he uses his hands to scroll through a list of apps, shoot a basketball in a game, and aim a pointer in a puzzle game. It looks very useful and can make interacting with virtual screens feel more like using the touchscreen on your phone.
The Quest v50 also adds some other useful features. One Quest Pro feature – the ability to summon a 2D app without closing a game – is coming to Quest 2 headsets. And the Quest Touch Pro controllers should be more responsive when you put on your headset.