Cutting Hair Using Quest Hand Tracking Looks Impressive With PC Power

Developer Daniel Beauchamp (aka @Pushmatrix) continued his odyssey into hand tracking experiments with small scissors simulated between his fingers.

He used Unity on PC combined with Quest’s hand tracking for a test that might make Rift S owners out there shake their fists in rage. That’s because he was able to use the HairStudio Unity asset to simulate a full(ish) head of hair with the power of a PC and combine that with Oculus Quest’s hand tracking in the Unity editor.

You can see the results here:

Oculus Quest’s hand tracking is severely limited but it also points the way to Facebook’s future plans. To improve tracking, future headsets might sample their surroundings at faster rates, or carry on-board infrared illumination to better see your hands. A recent test conducted with one of Beauchamp’s experiments and three American Sign Language signers made clear how limited the current implementation is, but a Facebook representative nonetheless said the use case is an area “worth exploring.”

In the case of Beauchamp’s scissors test, the most intriguing bit is in the slight haptic feedback he receives from pressing his fingers against one another. This sensation is part of the reason Facebook uses a specific pinch gesture to universally access the menu with an Oculus Quest. A very similar gesture is used for the small simulated clippers he’s got in his fingers, so as he cuts the virtual hair, his fingers press against one another to provide their own subtle sense of resistance similar to what would be felt during real-life hair cutting.

“You know that feeling when you used a VR bow for the first time…like ‘wow, the haptics feel like I’m pulling back a string,’ ” Beauchamp wrote in a direct message. “The tactile feedback combined with audio makes for a really convincing effect.”

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