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Unity gets manual tracking without controller in the editor with Oculus Link

The latest Oculus Integration for Unity update adds Quest’s controller-free manual tracking to the editor.

Facebook added manual tracking without experimental controller for Quest in December. It allows you to use your hands in the open air to interact with VR content rather than via Touch controllers. This is done through advanced machine vision algorithms based on machine learning.

Since the release of Oculus Link beta in November, developers building apps for Quest have been able to use a high-quality USB 3.0 cable to instantly iterate about changes made in Unity, the game engine used for most VR apps .

However, the Oculus Rift SDK does not support manual tracking, so developers creating apps with this feature have had to build builds and send them to the Quest headset every time they make a change to their code. This could take anywhere from 10 seconds to a few minutes each time depending on the scale of the project.

With the latest version of Unity Integration, this is no longer a problem. The link can go through manual tracking to the Unity editor, so simply by pressing “Play” the developers can quickly iterate the manual tracking interactions. Interestingly, Quest still doesn’t pass the microphone through Link, which would seem a simpler task.

Of course, if manual tracking can work via Link in the Unity Editor, why can’t it work in a real VR PC app? The answer is that since the Oculus Rift SDK doesn’t support it, there is no way to add it. Facebook has been relatively vague as to whether Rift S will do the same thing. In fact, the Oculus Quest store still doesn’t accept apps that support manual tracking, but Facebook’s claims indicate that it should change soon.

This story originally appeared on Uploadvr.com. Copyright 2020

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