Rec Room is working on support for body tracking on SteamVR, and hand tracking on Quest.
Rec Room’s avatars are currently legless. Support for body tracking on SteamVR, such as strapping on 3 or more Vive Trackers, should arrive alongside or soon after the full-body avatars update, slated for later this year.
Full body avatars will be optional, and available regardless of whether you have body tracking equipment. Here’s how Rec Room describes how the system will handle users without body tracking, and the transition between standing and thumbstick movement for those with it:
In VR we don’t actually know where your legs and feet are located so we have to rely on an artist’s interpretation – since we do know where your head and hands are, we try to pose your avatar to respect your real VR pose.
However, if you’re using full-body tracking then we’ll know where your legs and feet are – so we can dynamically switch between using avatar animations and VR tracking information to pose your lower body depending on the situation.
While you’re running around we’ll continue to play animations on your legs – despite the fact your real legs aren’t actually moving – so that you appear to be running to other players in Rec Room. Once you stop walking in-game we’ll blend back to showing your real leg positions so that you can dance and pose however you like.
Body tracking is already supported in VRChat on SteamVR, while avatars in Bigscreen and Meta’s Horizon don’t have legs. Meta plans to add legs to its avatars some time this year, but they will be estimated by machine learning rather than driven by body tracking hardware.
Rec Room says its controller-free hand tracking will take “a little longer” than body tracking, suggesting it should ship late this year at the earliest.
Meta’s hand tracking tech was first released for the original Oculus Quest in late 2019, but is only now starting to be supported by social VR platforms. VRChat added support for it last year, and Bigscreen plans to support it later this year. Meta’s own Horizon Worlds doesn’t support hand tracking, but Horizon Home and Horizon Workrooms do.
The company shared some concept art of the new avatar hands driven by hand tracking, embedded below.