Manus VR Demonstrates Arm Tracking With HTC Vive

Manus VR, a small startup working to create useable VR gloves that bring your hands and fingers into virtual reality, revealed its latest innovation today: full arm tracking. And it looks like the company is off to promising start.

The video below demonstrates arm and elbow positional tracking working almost flawlessly. Manus VR strapped an HTC Vive wand controller to the forearms of the company’s lead engineer, Stijn Stempel, for the demo. The team was able to recreate surprisingly accurate elbow and arm movement by using the tracking information from the Vive controller. At the same time, the gloves were used to track hand and finger movement.

The current generation of VR titles often feature floating hands that aren’t attached to arms at all. These have become the unofficial standard for first person VR development. Crytek explained very clearly in a development diary for The Climb why VR games don’t usually feature full arms. If your physical arm movement doesn’t precisely match that of the arm you are seeing, it breaks presence very quickly. For whatever reason, having hands that are tracked accurately with no arms at all is, apparently, easier for your mind to dismiss than a poorly-tracked arm. 

Manus VR is seeking a solution for this problem, because it believes there are cases when having your arms in the game would be paramount. An example the company offered up is the Pip-Boy from Fallout. If you don’t have arms, it's hard to check something on your wrist.

The Manus SDK will be released in June, and the hand-tracking feature will be included. The company said development on tracking arms is still experimental, but it hopes to build the feature into an integrated solution that interfaces with HTC Vive’s Lighthouse tracking system.

Current development is being focused on the HTC Vive, but Manus VR said it intends to explore bringing the technology to Oculus Rift and Playstation VR in the future.

Follow Kevin Carbotte @pumcypuhoy. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • cbag
    Oh my gosh... VR boxing will be so awesome.
  • kcarbotte
    17927333 said:
    Oh my gosh... VR boxing will be so awesome.

    That's actually another example that Manus suggested. I completely agree with you. I can't wait to try these gloves out.
  • Bettega
  • picture_perfect
    Can't come soon enough. It definitely will be a "presence" boost but yet another thing to put on. Eventually we will need full body suits with foot tracking, and such. Where does this leave VR gaming in terms of accessibility when it takes "X" minutes just to suit up for a 1/2 hour game.
  • hfitch
    why not just use a Kinnect 2.0 sensor. It can see your whole body. You can still use the vive control pads. rest of the body just be able to be seen.
  • wifiburger
    lol, alright we have gloves, I'm thinking nintendo power glove !
    I'm waiting for full suit where you get shot it shocks you
  • Superkoopatrooper
    These gloves are nothing more than the tennis and baseball bat attachments of the wiimote. The images are misleading and false advertisement. You need to attach the vive controllers to the back of the hand, something they don't show in the pictures. Now you would have no access to any buttons but at least it tracks your arms...
  • hixbot
    I love the power glove, it's so bad.