Navigating anything using just your hands is impressive, so there’s no surprises there when we all get excited about the prospect of controller-free – but perhaps we could be striving for something that combines the two in a way that we haven’t mastered just yet.
There are two big examples of how great hand tracking really is, and the first is Leap Motion. It is one of the more poignant figures leading this technology right now in VR. Watching video of its tracking system where you are able to pick up blocks, form them, and manipulate them with the wave of your hand is something that any of us would have deemed way too futuristic to be real a few years ago. There is another in which we are achieving successful and immersive hand tracking is with the Hand CV Gesture Interaction System, which is explained as something that feels natural to use, as if you were born knowing how to use it, understanding intricate motions that you make.
After this incredible display of technology and potential, why would I then say that it isn’t worth investing all money into making that the norm? It’s because no one really wants to ditch the controller. The controller is indeed something we have all come to adjust to, but it serves a more practical purpose than that. Since when in real life have you been able to do everything without the use of tools? Yes, it would be great to not have clunky accessory, but we have based our lives on using accessories to assist ourselves and VR should reflect real world qualities.
Really, the possibilities should be next to endless if we are able to master hand motion controls and tracking. However, very similarly to the technology that is fueling speech recognition, it may seem like it makes perfect sense but in reality it just makes things long winded when a machine is trying to interpret subjective human interaction – this is what’s so unnatural about this kind of technology.
In reality, what would really be the best scenario is if we could further develop and cross over the two technologies, and that is what the future will truly be. The closest we have gotten to that is what the likes of Manus is developing with motion tracking gloves, but maybe that isn’t as efficient as what we need for VR to feel both natural and effortless. We are progressing so fast it is hard not to have higher expectations and wants.
What hand motion tracking is really is a feature that can be added to accessory devices to enhance its effectiveness, but what that really is exactly I can’t quite put my finger on.