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Meta’s Quest headsets add spatial video and pinch controls to compete with Vision Pro

Meta’s Quest headsets add spatial video and pinch controls to compete with Vision Pro


Now, Quest 2 and Quest 3 owners can watch 3D spatial videos recorded for Apple’s Vision Pro, along with some other big upgrades.

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An image showing someone watching a spatial video on Quest 3
Image: Meta

The Meta Quest 3 will soon give wearers the ability to easily view spatial videos as well as use new pinching gestures for control, features that are similar to what you’ll find in Apple’s much more expensive Vision Pro headset that launches this week. Both changes are starting to roll out gradually as part of update v62, which should get to most owners of Quest 2, Quest 3, and Quest Pro headsets starting the week of February 7th.

The spatial video support will allow wearers to view 3D footage captured with Apple’s headset or an iPhone 15 Pro / Pro Max.

Screen captured video from an augmented reality headset playing a spatial video of someone looking at a tree.
A short clip from Mark Zuckerberg’s “early look” at spatial video playback on a Quest 3.
Image: Mark Zuckerberg (Instagram)

Apple’s spatial 3D videos are recorded with metadata that the Vision Pro can use to calculate the difference between the left and right images for each eye. As outlined by Meta, users will be able to upload spatial video to the Meta Quest mobile app, with a max length of 20 minutes. They can then access the footage from the Files menu once they’re wearing the headset.

Meta’s Quest 3 launched last year for $499 — far cheaper than the $3,499 Vision Pro. For the past few years, Meta has spent millions on building out the metaverse, but the company’s big bet has also led to some substantial losses.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg also teased the feature in a post on his broadcast channel on Instagram, offering an “early look at spatial video playback on Quest.” His post includes a short clip of a Quest headset playing a spatial video of trees.

Meta is making spatial video demos available from the “Spatial videos” section of the Files app as well, allowing users to try out the feature before the update arrives. Some Quest 3 owners have already shown how to convert Apple’s spatial videos for playback in their headsets using standard side-by-side 3D formats, but official support should mean having the ability to skip that extra step.

Aside from spatial video, Meta’s v62 update has other changes for the Quest headsets. They include expanding the existing pinch control with the choice of a short “pinch and release” gesture to open the universal menu or a longer “pinch and hold” to recenter the headset view. It’s similar to the pinch gestures Apple has made a part of using the Vision Pro and reminiscent of the “air tap” that we’ve used going back to Microsoft’s HoloLens.

Meta is also adding the ability to use external gamepads within the Quest Browser to enhance access to streaming games, while Quest Link updates, including support for 120Hz refresh rates in compatible PCVR titles, should make playing PC games using the headsets much better. Quest headset wearers will also soon get to take advantage of a new continuity feature that will let them resume tasks in various apps while moving across different virtual reality experiences.