Meta to Boost Immersion in Quest 3 with Upper Body Tracking and AI-Estimated Legs
The world of virtual reality (VR) is set for another leap forward as Meta, the company behind the Quest 3 VR headset, announces a series of updates for its upcoming device, launching on October 10. The anticipated advancements include upper body tracking and AI-estimated leg movements, expected to roll out in December. These updates will use the headset’s side cameras to track the user’s torso, arms, and other body parts, aiming to provide more immersive and realistic movements within virtual environments.
Pushing the Boundaries of VR Interaction
Prior to these updates, VR devices including the Quest 3, were limited to tracking the user’s head and hand movements. The introduction of upper body tracking is a significant stride in the VR landscape, as it allows for the user’s entire upper body to interact within the virtual space, creating an augmented sense of reality. This is achieved by leveraging the Quest 3’s side cameras to track the user’s wrists, elbows, shoulders, and torso using advanced computer vision algorithms. Post-update, the user’s arms and torso will appear as they are, not as an estimate, enhancing the overall VR experience.
The upper body tracking feature also allows developers to anchor thumbstick locomotion to the user’s body direction rather than just the head or hands. This opens up new possibilities such as leaning over a ledge and having the action realistically portrayed on the user’s avatar.
Introducing AI-Estimated Legs
Another exciting update is the introduction of AI-estimated legs. This feature will predict the position of the user’s legs and incorporate them into gameplay, specifically for movements like crouching and jumping. This is achieved by employing a cutting-edge AI model to estimate the leg positions, a technology that the company has been researching for years. While it’s a significant step towards improving immersion, it’s important to note that the AI can only estimate positions and won’t accurately track all leg movements. For instance, actions like raising your knees may not be detected. For highly accurate leg tracking, more advanced hardware may be required in the future.
Towards a More Immersive VR Experience
The combination of the upper body tracking and AI-estimated legs features results in what Meta calls ‘Full Body Synthesis’. This offering provides a plausible full body experience in VR without the need for any external hardware. Full Body Synthesis is said to be coming to various VR games and applications, including Supernatural Swordsman VR and Drunken Bar Fight, with an SDK available for other developers in December.
While the Quest 3 VR headset isn’t set to launch for a couple of weeks, these announcements have certainly stirred excitement among potential buyers. The introduction of these features demonstrates Meta’s commitment to enhancing VR immersion and interaction, pushing the boundaries of what’s currently achievable in the VR landscape. As we look forward to the device’s launch and the subsequent rollout of these updates, the future of VR seems more immersive and engaging than ever before.
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