Virtual reality (VR) is still very much in its infancy despite having been around for what seems like decades.
But current gear can’t yet provide a fully immersive experience. Oculus-owner Meta is looking set to change this by introducing body tracking in future Oculus devices.
Oculus‘ latest Software Development Kit (SDK) release contains an option for body tracking, as first noted by Upload VR. The SDK is an official resource released by Oculus to help developers prepare apps, so the information included there is reliable.
Neither Meta nor Oculus have made any announcement about the upcoming feature, it’s just been spotted in the SDK. That makes sense, as the feature will probably be a big selling point for the next Oculus device to include it.
It’s currently unclear which Oculus device will receive the new feature. We know that Oculus is working on a Quest 3 device, and a high-end device, so it could be featured on either of those. It’ll probably be the expected Quest Pro, as a higher-end model could come with new tech inside.
To enable the body tracking feature, it’s likely the Oculus devices will need new sensors. The current Oculus Quest packs cameras, and inertia sensors between the headset and controls. The inertia sensor will have to be more powerful, or Oculus will have to add an accelerometer and gyroscope.
Currently, VR headsets can only track your head and hand movements, unless you’ve got an expensive rig with movement sensors. Oculus’ new feature will likely be less reliable than dedicated sensors, but still a step up from no body tracking at all.
Adding body tracking right into a headset would be a big step forward for VR headsets, and make the experience more affordable. Let’s just hope the company gets it right.