Hand Tracking Coming to Oculus Quest in New Update

(Image credit: Oculus Rift)

Oculus VR unveiled a wave of new features coming to the Oculus Quest—including hand tracking—expected to release by early 2020. The team revealed the new features September 25 at Oculus Connect 6 (OC6). The Oculus Quest headset was initially released in May of 2019. This isn’t the first wave of updates since it’s release, but it might be the most ambitious.

The latest announcement at OC6 promises a variety of new features and services to the Oculus Quest—the most prominent of which is the new hand tracking component. This new addition tracks your hands for a more realistic interaction in the VR world. There are no more controllers, your hands are the controllers.

The headset tracks your hands using the built-in cameras. The tracking software works with deep learning to accurately process the position of your fingers and hands.

The team also announced Passthrough+, a feature designed to bring your surroundings into view while using VR. The headset can remain in place while displaying the surroundings to the wearer in real-time.

Additional services include Oculus Link, which allows Quest users to access Rift content and some titles with a gaming PC. This service works with a standard USB 3 cable, but Oculus VR plans to release an optical fiber cable later this year with Oculus Link in mind.

Quest users can also access more than 50 Oculus Go apps beginning next week. Any previously owned Oculus Go apps will transfer if they’re available on the Quest.

Most of the new features will roll out by the end of 2019. Those awaiting the new hand tracking features will have to wait until early 2020 for the update.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon @FreedmanAE.mastodon.social.