Oculus will soon roll out its v29 software for Quest and Quest 2 headsets, and this one adds more features and functionality to the lineup. The most exciting one is a new Live Overlay casting feature that will give you an easy way to capture a view of you using VR superimposed over the content displayed in first-person within your headset. Any VR app that supports casting and recording will work with this feature, according to Oculus.
All you’ll need is at least an iPhone XS or newer, a Quest headset, and the Oculus app for iOS updated to a new version that’s coming to “a subset of users.” Then you turn on the feature and have someone aim the camera at you (or aim it at yourself).
If this sounds familiar, you might be thinking of Oculus’ Mixed Reality Creator Tool (MRC) for Quest and Rift S. That app requires a capable PC, including a rig with 16GB of RAM, a decent graphics card, your own 1080p webcam, a 5GHz Wi-Fi router, and — of course — your own green screen. The big difference according to Oculus is that the Mixed Reality Capture Tool “synchronizes the person perfectly with VR, whereas Live Overlay places the user over a first-person casting view.” So, while mixed reality shows you actually doing cool things in virtual environments, Live Overlay appears to show what you see through the headset with you standing in the same frame, like the image above illustrates. Still, it’s impressive if you’re a creator who wants to show off gameplay and themselves in the same clip with minimal effort.
In other casting news, Oculus is allowing you to capture what you’re saying into your headset’s built-in microphone during casting sessions or when you’re recording a video clip. It’s also extending multi-user support and the app sharing feature to owners of the original Quest, so multiple people can share games on a single headset. These features were originally limited to the Quest 2, but Oculus is making good on its pledge to bring them to the Quest.
There’s a Files app coming with this update, and it’ll be located within your app library. Oculus says in its blog post that you’ll be able to download and upload media files “to and from your favorite websites” through the browser built into the headset. In other words, it should be a lot easier to upload content to social media sites other than Facebook.
The last couple of additions include an Infinite Office update that lets iOS users (using an iPhone 7 and newer, with Android support coming soon) see lock screen notifications from within a Quest headset. Oculus is also adding a shortcut for its Passthrough command to the user interface in the Quick Settings menu, giving you an alternative method of triggering it instead of physically double-tapping the side of your headset.
Lastly, Oculus will begin showing ads for VR experiences within the mobile app with the intent to broaden discovery for both developers looking for an audience and users to find new content. This could be useful for smaller developers who have built quality experiences but don’t have the awareness of more popular apps. That said, if you’re a curious Quest owner looking for new experiences, I suggest checking out SideQuest on PC or from an Android phone.
Correction: The new Live Overlay mode is not a full mixed-reality mode where you can film someone moving around inside a VR environment from the outside; it primarily shows a first-person view. We regret the error.