Fresh off of Meta’s Connect 2021 keynote, where Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was announced for Quest 2, the company announced the latest set of software feature updates arriving on Quest and Quest 2 headsets starting today. The biggest addition is Space Sense, a feature that goes a step beyond the passthrough guardian by showing you in real-time when your safe VR space has been intruded.
It’s a practical update that aims to keep you safer, along with the other people and things in your home, too. Pets sometimes like to come over to you while a VR headset is on because it looks, to them, like you’re just standing or sitting there getting excited about something. The blog post over at Oculus’ site says that Space Sense can detect things like people, large pets (sorry to small pets), and other objects that might have found their way into your passthrough guardian zone. These things will be highlighted in your headset, “surrounded by a pink-ish glow,” says Oculus.
This is a great addition. But, we’ve got to pour one out since this means that the days when you could get away with taking joke selfies next to people VR without them knowing are essentially over.
Version 34 of Oculus’ software for the Quest platform adds a slew of new voice commands if you’re someone who prefers to navigate the interface with your voice instead of physical movement. Here’s the current list of commands supported. Oculus also added the option to view Android app notifications while in VR. It first added the option for iOS users in May 2021, letting you pipe in your iPhone’s notifications while in-headset. You’ll need to activate the feature within the Oculus app for your Android phone, then enable it within the app or in your headset’s interface.
Lastly, Oculus shared that developers will soon be able to publish mixed-reality apps and games that utilize its Passthrough API on both the Oculus Store and the App Lab, the latter of which is the non-curated fork of the Oculus Store that hosts experimental or in-progress titles. Oculus provided more detail around it, along with its ambitious Presence Platform, during Connect 2021.