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Oculus is bringing controller-free hand tracking to its standalone Quest headset earlier than anticipated.
The feature was announced earlier this year and was originally scheduled to arrive in 2020, but now Oculus has revealed an initial consumer version will be landing alongside the latest Quest V12 software update this week.
Once the software update has been installed, Quest users will be able to enable hand tracking in the 'Experimental Features' menu, and will be able to start using their mitts to navigate and interact with interfaces such as the Library and Store.
Developers will also be able to get their hands on the SDK ahead of schedule, with Oculus confirming it’ll now be available the week beginning December 16.
The hand tracking SDK will let VR devs enable the integration of controller-free experiences in their Quest apps and games, and Oculus hopes the technology will ultimately make VR more accessible for controller-shy newcomers.
"We’re releasing hand tracking as an early consumer feature on Quest starting this week, and as an SDK for developers next week," explains an Oculus blog post. "With the SDK, developers and creators now have the power to unlock controller-free hand interactions in Quest apps for the first time.
"We can’t wait to see what kinds of content they’ll dream up and ship as they build new experiences with hands: from more expressive gestures in social apps to more efficient workflows in business training modules, and more.
"We hope hand tracking will make VR more approachable for newcomers to try by removing the need to learn controller functions. And for those who own Quest, when the hardware melts away you can be fully immersed in the magic of VR while connecting with others in a seamless, intuitive way."
You can learn more about the feature by heading over to the Oculus blog.