This is a potentially exciting addition to the company's standalone VR headset that will allow players to ditch the Oculus Touch controllers in favour of using their hands and fingertips to engage with the virtual world. This will likely lead to a much more immersive experience and make the device more accessible too.
Of course, it's not the first time we've seen hand-tracking solutions in VR. You're already able to experience some of it with the purchase of an additional upgrade for the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift in the form of a Leap Motion controller. That upgrade then allows your gaming machine to track your hands and translate that into the gaming experience, but adoption is limited and there aren't a huge amount of games to play like this yet.
Both the Valve Index and the HTC Vive Cosmos are designed to be modular and could include hand-tracking upgrades in the near future. This sort of modification has been dabbled with for a while but it's exciting to see Oculus pushing towards it quickly.
The edge the Oculus Quest will have is the way this new system will work. The company says it will be using the Quest's inside-out tracking cameras combined with a specialised machine vision system to pull data about hand movement into the VR experience. Meaning no additional purchase, nothing to plug in and less hassle.
Oculus explained a bit more in a recent blog post:
"Our computer vision team developed a new method of using deep learning to understand the position of your fingers using just the monochrome cameras on Quest today—no active depth-sensing cameras, additional sensors, or extra processors required. This technology approximates the shape of your hand and creates a set of 3D points to accurately represent your hand and finger movement in VR."
This new hand-tracking will start life as an experimental feature in early 2020 for developers to tinker with, so we'll be relying on them to make the most of it so we can too.
From what we've seen of it, there's plenty of reason to get excited.