To me, there is nothing better than a pair of good Motion Controllers. I love the Oculus Touch and I think they are the best VR has to offer. However, it seems that VR is starting to go further… Is starting to really look hard at eliminating the need for controllers by observing the gestures of its users.
Gestures and VR
There are many reasons Gestures are going to be popular among VR users. First of all we know how un-immersive VR can be if you just sit in a couch holding an Xbox controller or using a Google Cardboard.
Oculus has already addressed this of course, but there are plenty of headsets that have no real motion controllers. And of course there are those who have cumbersome motion controllers (I’m looking at you HTC Vive).
Gestures are perfect because they are what VR enthusiast are all about… Immersion. Imagine playing with nothing but your headset on, and having the game respond perfectly to what your hands do. It’s tough to get more immersive than that… Therefore, gestures will be the way to go for VR, once the technology matures a little bit.
To take it one step further, think ahead to gesture control and haptic gloves that make it feel like you’re actually holding the box you just picked up in your favorite virtual world.
VR AddOns That Allow For Gesture Reading
As expected, big VR companies like HTC and Oculus can’t really implement Gestures on their products yet. Is not that they can’t do it, it’s just that they are held to higher standards. And as such they can’t release anything that’s not quite near perfect! And Gestures in VR are not there yet…
So how can you get your VR headset to work with Gestures? Well there are some Add Ons or Accessories that you can buy and use with your headsets today. Even for Mobile VR headsets!
For Mobile VR there is an app called VR Gesture Player, which is pretty simple. The app is a VR video player, that uses your smartphone’s camera to read your hand gestures. As it is to be expected is the least impressive application, but it is convenient. If you have used Google Cardboard or some other cheap VR headsets then you know they are not always that well designed. And this app allows you to easily pause, play or rewind videos by simply using hand gestures. It’s only downside is that it consumes battery extremely fast!
However it feels pretty cool, controlling the video with hand gestures is like you are in Minority Report.
Add Ons For Premium VR Headsets
Then we have the big boys, Hand Gestures and Premium VR Headsets. For this there is an Add On Called Leap and another called VicoVR.
Leap is the simpler of the two, is a motion sensor that is attached to the front of your headset, it then is connected to your headset and works by putting your hands in front of your face and making gestures. The gestures are read by the sensor and translated as different buttons for the headset. Leap works for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and even OSVR.
And finally VicoVR. Which is the most promising of the pack. There is nothing particularly ground braking about VicoVR, it’s basically Xbox’s Kinect applied to VR. Which might sound pretty cool to many, but I personally don’t like the whole Kinect thing… I’m the guy who prefers the Oculus Touch, I’m old fashioned like that.
Image Credit Mark Farrel