Oculus is looking to patent a virtual reality (VR) glove controller with self-tracking capabilities, UploadVR reports, citing a recent filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Facebook-owned company initially applied to patent its invention in October, with the patent itself being described as an “optical hand tracking” solution for VR systems like head-mounted displays. According to the documentation filed by Oculus, its experimental glove could both act in conjunction with a more traditional gamepad or serve as a standalone controller. The invention also boasts an “illumination source” — presumably a small LED bulb — that lights a portion of a user’s finger. That illuminated area of skin is then scanned by an optical sensor designed to record numerous images in a short period, then analyze the differences between those images with the goal of estimating the relative position of one’s hand based on that data.
The patent itself suggests Oculus may be looking to move away from its Constellation tracking solution that relies on Oculus Sensors to determine a relative position of an object in 3D space. Instead of installing several infrared sensors, users would easily be able to just put on the company’s glove and instantly be able to experience interactive VR content. This not only makes the new solution more accessible but also suggests the system would be significantly more portable than the Constellation platform. There are no guarantees this patent will ever be commercialized, but seeing how Oculus already applied for a number of related patents and Mark Zuckerberg himself recently showcased a working prototype of a similar device, it seems that the VR company has at least some plans for its VR gloves.
More details on Oculus’ upcoming creations might follow soon seeing how its parent company is hosting its annual developer conference in San Jose, California next week, with recent reports suggesting the F8 event will at least partially be focused on VR. Facebook already invested hundreds of millions of dollars into VR advancements and the Menlo Park-based tech giant is expected to continue with that strategy in the coming years, albeit under a new leadership after Oculus’ founder Palmer Luckey left the company in March.