You Could Be Using Your Hands In VR Worlds Sooner Than You Think

Microsoft - Hands in VR - Our Explorers

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.