It has been revealed that Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset, is working on a second camera for the headset on top of the one included in the second developer kit (DK2). The proposed addition would be fitted to the headset itself, facing outwards as opposed to the first camera that sits in front of users to track the position of the device and replicate physical head movements in-game.
The second camera was mentioned in Wired’s full profile of the company. Chief Technology Officer John Carmack revealed that it would first be used as a pass-through camera, meaning users could potentially switch back and forth between it and a VR experience to get a view of the outside world without having to remove the device. Crucially, a second possible feature would see the camera track hand and finger gestures. The publication described the feature as ‘like a Kinect, but more powerful’.
“In the early days of VR, it was all goggles and gloves,” Carmack said. “Nobody’s talking about gloves now—it’s going to be done with optical tracking. You want it to feel like a virtuoso with an instrument.”
The news falls in line with EVE: Valkyrie developer CCP Games’ hints that Oculus VR was looking at implementing hand tracking into its work. The article doesn’t confirm that that the feature will definitely be used, though it could serve as the solution to the input debate that current surrounds the VR industry. VRFocus will continue to follow Oculus VR’s progress and report back with any more updates.