Manus VR Gives HTC Vive Arm Tracking: Hands, Fingers, Elbows - You Name It


Manus VR showcases how its gloves can provide full arm-tracking support for the HTC Vive, making the whole virtual reality experience a lot more immersive.

Chief Engineer Stijn Stumpel demonstrated the technology, exhibiting how the system can track the movement of the whole arm, from the elbows bending to the hands and fingers flexing.

With an HTC Vive and the wand controllers at hand, the developer managed to achieve accurate and simultaneous motion of the VR output and the arms.

"It feels extremely immersive to see your full arms transformed in VR. It adds an extra layer to the feeling of body presence," Stijn Stumpel, Manus VR lead designer, says.

Typical VR titles take advantage of "floating hands," a standard for the current generation where arms in the virtual environment aren't connected to the limbs of the user. Needless to say, that doesn't exactly make for a convincing or natural experience, but at any rate, it does have its merits.

Crytek Producer Fatih Özbayram explains why using full arms for VR is not a good idea yet, particularly for The Climb.

"When your brain sees a character's displayed arm in the game when you climb, it needs to be as it expects, or presence is broken. That's because scale in VR is immediate — the inevitable difference between a single character's arms as rendered in the game world and the player's own arms in reality causes problems," he says.

A word to the wise, Manus VR will change that, as it has the potential to make a huge difference for the future of VR.

Now, the project is still in the experimental stage, and the folks behind it are still working out the kinks and whatnot of arm tracking on the HTC VR headset, but the good news is that the SDK for the feature will be out sometime in June.

Hit up the video to see the gloves in action and watch how Stumpel shows off their range of capabilities.

What did you think of this nifty pair of mitts for virtual reality? Feel free to pay a visit in the comments section below and let us know.

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