Big Meta Quest update improves passthrough and adds new features

Big Meta Quest update improves passthrough and adds new features
Meta has been hard at work on its VR headsets and update v66 for Quest shows that. Update v65, which came out in April of this year, brought with it quality improvements to passthrough mode. The newest update improves passthrough even more and has added a handful of very useful new features.

Passthrough is when an XR (Extended Reality) headset like the Meta Quest 3 uses its external cameras to show you a live feed of your real-life surroundings. Update v64 made passthrough quality better and v65 made menus in passthrough appear over the live feed instead of a gray void. The newest update takes passthrough to a whole new level by improving distortion and virtual hand alignment.

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It sometimes baffles me how much improvement a software update can bring.

As you can see in the demonstration video, distortion has been reduced by a lot. Furthermore, better virtual hand alignment means more intuitive interactions in MR (Mixed Reality). MR is something Meta has been pushing hard for years, and this update will greatly improve MR games and apps.

However, this passthrough improvement is only available on Quest 3. Though update v66 will also roll out to Meta Quest 2 and Quest Pro, those headsets will not see improved passthrough. So if you’re on a budget, you should wait for the rumored Meta Quest 3S to come out later this year.

Background audio and a Meta button

Support for background audio has been brought to Quest headsets in update v66. Now if you minimize a 2D app, like the browser, it will continue playing audio. This will work for both songs and videos and you will see a media control bar in the universal menu to control playback of minimized apps.

There is also a new Meta button that you can add to your wrist. It’s enabled from the ‘Experimental’ tab in ‘Settings’ and adds one virtual button each to both of your wrists. One is the Meta button that will open up the universal menu and the other is a menu button that opens up the in-app menu of the current app or game you’re running.

These buttons will make it much more convenient to access options when you’re in the middle of a virtual experience.

Hidden apps, sleep mode and more

You can now hide apps in your Library that have been downloaded from the Meta Horizon Store. This works for both installed and uninstalled apps but it’s also very easy to see hidden apps. All you have to do is select ‘Hidden’ from the drop-down menu in the top right corner.

There’s a new Sleep Mode too. Pressing and holding the power button will now show you a new option: putting your headset to sleep. Sleep Mode lets apps update in the background and helps the headset boot up much faster next time you want to play some VR games.

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Continued updates and support make the Quest 3 an excellent headset.

On a smaller note, users who are supervised by the same guardian will be able to see each other in the Family Center from June 27. Of more interest, to me at least, is that you can now sync your headset’s media to your Meta Horizon profile. This means you’ll be able to view your Quest gallery from the Meta website on any internet-enabled device.

Lastly, Space Setup on Quest headsets has received an update as well. Space Setup is a feature that uses the depth sensor on a Quest headset to create a digital scan of your room. In update v64 Space Setup gained the ability to label furniture automatically, something you had to do manually before.

Looks like Meta is putting that new feature to use with update v66. Space Setup will be able to detect the following parts and furniture of a room:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Tables
  • Beds
  • Couches
  • Screens
  • And storage

Meta says this will improve over time and newer furniture types will be added. Update v66, like all Quest updates, will be gradually rolled out over the next few weeks. You should get it automatically whenever your headset downloads it in the background.

In our Meta Quest 3 review we called it a big upgrade over previous Quest headsets. And it seems that not only is it getting better each month, its predecessors are losing support as well. Which makes it the only Quest headset worth buying, in my opinion, if you’re looking to get into VR today.
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