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Oculus Touch accessibility for people with hand tremors

TenaciousMe
Level 3
I have essential tremor which makes my hands shake, which makes the touch controllers hard to use in some circumstances, especially apps that use the controller like a "laser pointer" including the main Oculus app which uses the laser pointer technique for clicking on buttons. It affects all six degrees of freedom, but particularly the rotations.

Request to Oculus devs: It would be awesome if Touch had a tremor-reduction option. For an app I'm building I'm adding a tremor-reduction option, but I think this should really be a built-in accessibility option.

It should be done carefully for best results. For example, an easy way to do it is to just low-pass filter the position and rotation values, but this results in a feeling of lag or floatiness. Instead, I'm low-pass filtering position/rotation changes that are smaller than a certain noise threshold, but if a change is larger than the threshold I accept the new values without any filtering. That way a legitimate motion is reflected immediately without lag, and only the fine detail motions have lag introduced.
11 REPLIES 11

snowdog
Level 16
That's a good idea. I have hand tremors due to my depression, but they're not bad enough to stop me from playing games. Would be good to see something like your solution become part of the OculusSDK and become an option to turn on and off in the Settings in the Oculus App. Would mean that Parkinson's Disease sufferers would be able to use VR.
"This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever

kzintzi
Level 10
this is an awesome idea - I hope they add something like this.

Though you are more than slightly incoherent, I agree with you Madam,
a plum is a terrible thing to do to a nostril.

Siilk
Level 5
I have no hand tremor but tell you what, using the "laser pointer" cursor for precise actions is bloody hard. Given controllers are quite light, every twitch of a hand will result in a noticeable movement of the "cursor", especially when buttons are placed far enough in VR so the "laser pointer" beam becomes long amplifying the twitches into high heaven.

What we need is a variable cursor smoothing(not unlike mouse smoothing used in some games) where actual cursor will be lagging slightly behind the laser pointer while having some inertia to it. That way most twitchy hand motions will be smoothed out out allowing precise and smooth control.

Spanishkay
Level 2
I 5th TenaciousMe's comment. Using the pointer is very difficult with an unsteady hand. 

nickyj_sullivan
Level 2
I just got this as and i cant use it because of my tremors. Very discouraging. 

FlyingHeroVR
Level 3
Yeah the suggestions sound good

pimofzo
Level 2
any follow up on this?

justing
Level 3
I believe this is an extremely valuable feature. I have an essential tremor as well and it makes the experience difficult. Many without tremors have complained about feeling they have shaky hands in games. Any response on this Oculus?

KGR234
Level 2
I have Parkinson's Disease and also have trouble controlling the laser light pointer. It can be frustrating! Since PD is characterized by a resting tremor, it isn't a problem playing games that involve more intense motor engagement, but negotiating through menus requiring use of the laser pointer are difficult.
I suspect that VR technology, especially when available at a reasonable price point like the Oculus 2, can have many therapeutic applications. Visuomotor deficits that develop in this disorder can possibly be remediated through games that engage that visuomotor pathway. Oculus, an opportunity to use your product as a therapeutic tool?  It would require some work on stabilizing the "shaky hand" input for selected users.