Facebook and Oculus have the VR and AR world waiting on their toes for the fall announcements regarding their new technology, and what their researchers have recently made has only fueled the fire. The new wearable wristband isn’t a finger tracker, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.
This device has been named Tasbi by Facebook researchers, but we are unsure if this is going to be the official name of this product, even if it never reaches the shelves of the common consumer. This product was made by a team of six researches from Facebook Reality Labs and an interning student from Rice University. This product was never intended to pick up the speed it has, but what they have made is noteworthy and something that will push the virtual industry forewarn immensely.
Tasbi is meant to be worn on both wrists while wearing an AR or VR headset. The wearable will use a mixture of vibrations and squeezing haptics to mimic how picking up real objects are and how they feel when you pick them up and interact with them. Each device features their own linear actuator so the vibrations and haptics will be felt in precise locations. This is very important when giving individual sensory inputs to each finger and hand. Without these hardware inclusions, this device wouldn’t be the same monster in hardware it is.
It will surprise many people that Tasbi is not going to be tracking your fingers. The wristband will be leaving all of the heavy software tracking up the headset that you wish to use with the Tasbi devices. This technique is new and will offer a smoother tracking thanks to the individual and decoupled pins that are located inside of the wristband. We don’t expect a device like this to be replacing any sort of touch controller in the near or distant future as something like that would require hand tracking itself, but this is a start on what Facebook and Oculus could be planning to show all of us in the not so distant future.
Hand tracking would change the virtual industry in ways we aren’t even sure of just yet. If you are able to play a Star Wars game while using the force without having to hold any sort of controller or grip button, imagine how immersive the game could become for anyone playing it. We know finger and hand tracking is going to be a part of the virtual future, but we are uncertain of how soon we are going to see this technology in consumers headsets. Finger tracking and eye tracking are sure to be game changers, but how much will it actually impact the day to day use of a virtual reality gamer?
To answer the question in short, a lot. Even if you are only a fan of a few games on a few occasions inside of virtual reality, having a headset or arable track you is going to keep you much more immersed inside of your altered reality. We are excited to see what Tasbi has is store and we are sure Facebook is excited to get the news to us as fast as possible this fall or later.