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Oculus recognises that our hands are clumsy bits of flesh and bone. They get trapped in doors, they awkwardly fail to high-five in important social situations, and we'd be better off without them. That's why it's currently working on taking them out of the equation when it comes to controlling characters in virtual reality games.
Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it had acquired CRTL-Labs - "They're the team working on neural interfaces," Facebook founder and Oculus owner Mark Zuckerberg said on stage at the Oculus Connects 6 conference. They're making "a wristband that picks up electrical impulses and turns them into digital inputs you can use in virtual reality. It will give the sensation of being able to interact with digital objects."
The plan is to replace the current Touch controllers with a neural input device. "It's clearly very early and it's going to be a number of years until it gets into any of the products that we're shipping, but it works," Zuckerberg says.
This announcement came off the back of news that next year Oculus is releasing an update for its Quest VR headset that will implement hand tracking. This new software will allow the headsets front-facing cameras to watch your hand movements and implement those in games without the need for controllers. Essentially, Oculus wants to get to the point where the only thing you need to play VR games is the headset itself, no separate computer, no scanners set up in the room, and no cables.
While a fully mind-controlled virtual reality headset is years off from being available and, well, good to use, it's an exciting future. It's a wild idea for general use, but just think what that sort of a controller would do for someone who has limited motor functions. It could open up a world of interactions in virtual space.
Featured Image Credit: Oculus
Topics: virtual reality
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