The future is bright, and when it comes to work, it could get a whole lot cooler once everyone is strapping a pair of VR goggles to their face.
Microsoft wants to play an important role in making that happen.
The company is presently working on incorporating hand motions and gestures into virtual worlds, allowing you to replicate tasks you might do in ‘real life’ within a virtual world.
The Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are the two leaders in VR systems available right now, however interaction is limited to motion-tracked controllers that are designed to interact virtually.
The limitation impacts the user experience and takes away from a sense of immersion when using VR. And when it comes to productivity, controllers aren’t going to beat how we naturally use our hands.
Microsoft researchers are using cheap sensors, such as their Xbox Kinect sensor (which has been an amazing research tool more than a practical gaming add-on), and common, every day computers that are able to track a user’s hands and fingers with surprising precision.
Using Kinect to capture and feed the detailed data, custom software maps and tracks points on a hand, translating the points to recreate a virtual hand that can interact with other virtual objects.
The present day technology is limited, but the research is important for the future, where we could interact with future software interfaces in VR with astounding precision.
Imagine interacting in a virtual office and using hand gestures to do every day tasks like checking email and browsing the web, without the need to interact with a clunky keyboard and mouse.