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The Latest Hand-Tracking Innovations from Meta and Shopify

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January is a productive month for extended reality (XR) technologies following CES 2023; as February approaches, Meta and Shopify have introduced hand-tracking innovations for their customers, continuing the journey of XR innovation.

Each companies hand-tracking solutions leverage the Meta Quest product portfolio of virtual reality (VR) headsets.

The Meta Quest and Quest Pro models contain outward-facing tracking cameras and software replicating user gestures in an immersive environment.

Meta Debuts Hand-Tracking v2.1

This Thursday, Meta released hand-tracking v2.1 as part of its OS v47 update. The update reduces tracking losses while improving positional prediction, recovery times, and connections.

The update improves a Quest’s ability to track quick movements in applications such as fitness and fast-motion games.

Moreover, the update improves hand-tracking-based interactions and navigation for its adopters—it leverages machine-learning technology to improve the platform’s pinch-based interaction.

To secure further hand-tracking accuracy, Meta recommends that Quest users utilise Interaction SDK, which contains a pre-built library of components used for hands and controller-based interactions to enable a fully customisable experience.

The v2.1 update also improves pose prediction, enabling a Quest headset to recognise more complex hand gestures.

Meta is releasing its hand-tracking update in April 2023. The firm is automatically updating Meta Quests when the upgrade drops.

Shopify Debut Open-Source Handy Tool

Last week, Shopify also dropped a hand-tracking update for Meta Quest users. The eCommerce firm debuted Handy, an open-source that allows Quest users to record hand-motion data.

The update streamlines and accelerates capturing hand-tracking data for Meta Quest developers. Handy enables users to put their captured data into Blender to animate models.

Additionally, Handy leverages Unity to create alembic files that a developer imports into Blender to create a realistically animated hand model.

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