Meta Quest 3 gets improved passthrough and other goodies in the latest update

Meta Quest 3 has just improved its passthrough and introduced other goodies in the latest update
Meta has just released the v64 update for its Quest 3 headset and it brings with it a handful of welcome changes. The Quest 3 now features more detailed passthrough, support for external microphones, Lying Down mode and uninterrupted casting.

Meta’s latest VR headset is already an excellent device, but updates like this help it reach the extra mile. Passthrough is a convenient feature we’re seeing more of in new VR headsets, like the Vision Pro. It uses cameras to show users the environment around them without them having to take off the headset.

According to the v64 release notes the Quest 3 has had an optimization update to the passthrough pipeline. This means the entire process of capturing external video, processing it and then displaying it has been refined further.

Meta claims this improves the resolution and makes little details clearer. For example, the text on your phone should look sharper on the Quest 3 after the update. This optimization of passthrough also includes better color reproduction and dynamic range. Dark environments in passthrough should look cleaner and less grainy than before as well.

Lying Down mode for Meta Quest 3

v64 also brings with it something the Quest 2 and Quest Pro got in v63: Lying Down mode. Long VR sessions can get tiring pretty fast, especially for people with disabilities. This is where the Lying Down feature comes in handy.

Unlike most VR companies, Meta has designed a mode specifically so that its headsets don’t require you to remain upright. To activate it,

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Then find the Experimental option.
  3. Enable Use Apps While Lying Down.

This function is perfect for stationary media consumption. It can also be used for VR games that don’t require much movement.

You can now use external microphones with Quest 3

Quest 3 users can now select any connected external microphone from the External option in the Settings. Microphones can be connected to the headset via its USB-C port, either directly or through an adapter. The headset does not support Bluetooth microphones as of yet.

Audio enthusiasts will love this addition because it will allow them to use high-quality audio gear. It’s also bound to make the work of YouTubers and streamers much easier. It is worth keeping in mind, however, that support for external microphones is only coming to the Quest 3. Previous Quest headsets will not receive this option with the v64 update.

Uninterrupted casting when you take off the Quest 3

Quest headsets allow users to cast what they’re viewing to a computer or other supported devices. This makes for fun group sessions where you can share your experiences with everyone else. Previously, however, if you took off the headset the stream would go dark.

With the v64 update, that has finally changed. When casting to the Meta Quest app, removing the headset will now keep the stream going. This means short breaks without disrupting the experience for viewers are now finally possible.

This is definitely an improvement to the whole casting experience. But, as Meta reminds us in its blog post about the update: remember to stop casting when you’re done.

Other changes and expected release

Aside from the quality-of-life changes mentioned above, Meta is also improving Meta Horizon Worlds. For the uninitiated, Meta Horizon Worlds is a social hub exclusive to VR headsets owned by Meta.

With the v64 update, Meta is looking to make it easier to join up with friends in Horizon Worlds. This is primarily being done by allowing you to quickly join friends from the People app. However, this only works if said friend has their location shared and is in a public world.

As with previous updates, Meta says it might take a few weeks for the update to be rolled out to everyone. If you have Automatic Updates enabled, your Quest will update itself when not in use. Passthrough and Lying Down mode are sure to be a hit, but we’ll see if more people are keen to jump into Horizon Worlds going forward.
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