Getting handsy

The Quest 2's improved hand-tracking fixes a lot of the jankiness

Developers will now be able to use Meta’s "Presence Platform" to better track clapping, waving, and fast-moving hands on the Quest 2 and future hardware.

To make using your hands in VR a more enticing alternative to controllers, Meta will soon update its “Presence Platform” that lets developers track waving, clapping, and fast-moving hands even better in their apps, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today.

Presence — Meta’s main goal is trying to limit the number of scenarios in which the Quest 2 might lose track of your hands. Until now, Meta’s computer vision has been impressive, but it still struggles with very specific instances where it gets completely confused, like when one hand covers another or both hands move too quickly to track at once.

The updated Presence Platform — a collection of “machine perception and AI capabilities” — has to be enabled by developers in their apps, but it seems to address many of the Quest 2’s most obvious problems.

Improvements — Hands covering or touching other hands no longer confuses the Quest 2 after the update, allowing for more gestures and natural interactions, which we imagine will be great for social VR settings.

The Quest’s cameras should no longer lose tracking capabilities when you move your hands quickly, which should be super helpful for VR fitness experiences like boxing.

Object manipulation, movements around objects, and clapping should work a whole lot more like moving your hands does outside of VR.

The future — These changes might not be immediately noticeable, but that’s sort of the point. Meta is trying to make using the Quest 2 with just your hands work in the same way it would in real life. Easy, natural interactions are a big part of selling the reality of “the metaverse,” Meta’s proposed future for the mobile internet.

It might also help the company’s future mixed-reality headsets, like Project Cambria. At least until Meta’s reportedly hands-free control method is introduced alongside future augmented reality glasses.