In our Apple Vision Pro review, we commended the headset for wowing us with its dual hand-and-eye-tracking system. Meta has now launched its own dual-tracking system for the Meta Quest 3 and Meta Quest Pro, though the eye-tracking has been swapped for handset tracking so you can use controllers and hands simultaneously – and people are already using it for foot-tracking.
Admittedly this feature isn’t entirely new. Since hand tracking launched it has been possible to swap between the two within apps that support both – though there was a delay when switching modes, and as soon as you put the controllers down they’d disappear from your view (making it a challenge to find them again, in VR).
This new ‘Multimodal’ method that tracks both at the same time has technically been around for a while too. It launched back in July 2023, however, it was in beta which meant official Quest Store apps and App Lab software couldn’t implement it. Instead, software using Multimodal tracking would have to be shared via third-party app stores like SideQuest.
Mixed interaction with hand tracking and controller tracking is finally active on Quest! What is the best way to use it? pic.twitter.com/uOXyjlcEimFebruary 16, 2024
Now with Quest update v62 it has launched fully (via UploadVR) meaning VR games and apps distributed through the native Quest Store can add Multimodal tracking for Meta Quest 3 and Quest Pro users. This not only allows apps to transition instantly from one method to the other, but it also means you can use controllers and your hands at the same time opening up new ways to interact with virtual worlds.
Perhaps we’ll see an adventure game where you wield a sword in one hand and perform Doctor Strange-like spells with your free hand, or existing apps that only use one controller could add some hand-tracking features – even something as simple as the ability to make hand gestures to improve communication in multiplayer games.
People who have been testing the feature have pointed out this new system could allow tracking of multiple body parts at once. In one example, Twitter user @Lunayian attaches Quest Pro controllers to their feet so they can use their hands and feet in VR without a complex tracking rig.
Unhinged foot tracking method is actually not as unhinged when used with Touch Pro 🤔 https://t.co/b2x6BzAary pic.twitter.com/ZPiTlggkCEFebruary 19, 2024
Unfortunately, the Oculus Quest 2 lacks the processing power to enable simultaneous hand and controller tracking with its base handsets. However, you could unlock this feature if you buy and pair Touch Pro controllers with the headset – they’ll cost you $ 299.99 / £299.99 / AU$ 479.99 for two – as they track themselves allowing the Quest 2 to focus on your hands.
You might want to hold off on picking up the Touch Pro controllers though, as while this feature is now live for developers to use in official Quest Store apps it’ll take time to see it in your favorite VR and MR software. Hopefully, we won't be waiting long.