Microsoft isn’t exactly a newcomer when it comes to motion tracking. The Kinect has been around for years now, enabling people to interact with video games and other applications in all new ways. For virtual reality though, whole body tracking isn’t always as important as things like accurate appendage reproduction. Accurate tracking of hands and even fingers can bring experiences from relatively believable to wholly interactive, as users would be able to connect with object like they never have before.
Because of this, Microsoft is looking to revamp their motion tracking game, and is developing new software which gives all new applications to hand gesture detection.
Microsoft’s new “Handpose” project uses a motion tracking camera to detect small movements and gestures from user’s fingers. So far, the company’s prototype works on any device with a 3D motion sensing camera, which currently includes laptops and tablets that sport Intel’s Realsense technology. After computing the position of your hands in real time, the software calculates the meaning of these positions and outputs them into an action. Microsoft is also saying that the tech doesn’t simply convert movement to code but also “understands the person’s intent”. We have yet to see exactly what the company means by this, but it can only mean good things for virtual reality.
Currently, we need to use hand motion controllers such as the HTC Vive hand remotes or Oculus Touch remotes in order to interact with virtual worlds. If technology such as Microsoft’s were integrated into future VR applications however, these remotes would be useless. The ability to interact with things in a virtual space just as you do in the real world would make the technology all the more immersive, and if the tech were to take off, projects like the Manus VR gloves would be dead in the water. Using this tech, would not need any additional hardware in order to achieve accurate hand tracking and replication, which would save on development and hardware costs for VR companies.
Interested? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.