HTC shows off Vive finger-tracking demo, promises VR breakthrough at CES

At HTC’s Vive Unbound developers forum in Beijing this week, the company showed off a new finger tracking tech demo, and revealed a content distribution platform similar to Oculus’ store that seems to be designed to make it easier to find games for the upcoming VR headset.

The hacked finger tracking demo takes advantage of the third-party Perception Neuron motion capture glove for finger movement tracking, with the Vive controller mounted to the user’s wrist so the headset knows where their hand is located.

While the Vive’s finger tracking demo is undeniably fascinating, strapping an Oculus controller to the back of your hand, while wearing a Neuron glove, isn’t the most convenient or intuitive method of implementing finger-tracking. Hopefully HTC releases a more comprehensive solution in the future.

Still, the possibility of being able to pick up objects with individual fingers, as well as interact with virtual environments with that level of accuracy, is exciting and will likely open up a number of unique gameplay opportunities.

According to recently leaked images that originally showed up on Reddit, the Vive seems to have been slightly revamped as well. The logo that used to be present on the front of the headset has been removed and the overall build has been streamlined in the image. In terms of other changes, the headset’s various sensors are now hidden behind covers, and a front-facing camera is present on its back, although some earlier Vive development kit builds also included a built-in camera. It’s unclear if these 3D renders are of the consumer version of the Vive or the 2nd generation development kit Vive.

During HTC’s development conference, the company also showed off what looks like the final, consumer version of the Vive’s motion-based controller. The latest iteration of the Vive’s gamepad looks sleeker than its predecessor – which felt somewhat cheap in early Vive tech demos – and the controller’s once hexagonal head has been given a smooth, circular makeover.

HTC Vive controllers

The company also teased that it has plans to reveal a significant technological breakthrough related to the Vive at CES 2016.

While at the conference, HTC’s CEO Cher Wang said the following to Engadget in a recent interview. “We shouldn’t make our users swap their systems later just so we could meet the December shipping date.”

In early December HTC announced it delayed the consumer release of the Vive until April 2016 in order to “deliver the best product possible.”

Related reading: Tête-à-Tête: HTC Vive vs. PlayStation VR – Which VR headset is more impressive?

[source]EngadgetUploadVR, Trusted ReviewsAndroid Central[/source]