Meta Quest headsets now support spatial

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June Wan/ZDNET

We’re less than 24 hours away from the long-awaited launch of Apple’s Vision Pro headset, which means there’s no better time for a new update to Meta Quest headsets. Coming in the latest v62 update, Meta is bringing spatial video playback to its Quest headsets, including the Quest 2, Quest 3, and Quest Pro models, along with several improvements to how you game and live stream.

Also: I’ve tried Vision Pro and other top XR headsets and here’s the one most people should buy

Spatial videos, a format coined by Apple with its Vision Pro headset but are basically stereoscopic videos, can be recorded with an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max to produce content with added depth and separation between subjects. They’re achieved by leveraging both the main and telephoto lenses of the new iPhones to measure and record the distance of subjects, resulting in a much more immersive visual experience.

Arguably, the ability to watch spatial videos is the best feature on Apple’s $3,500 headset, so it’s no surprise that Meta, on the day before Vision Pro officially goes on sale, is announcing its headsets’ compatibility with the video format.

On v62, spatial videos can be uploaded to a Quest headset via the Meta Quest mobile app. Once uploaded, Meta says “the content will be converted for playback on Meta Quest hardware and stored in the cloud.” Users can access their spatial videos in the Files menu of the headset, meaning they don’t have to manage the content from the phone app every time. Even if you don’t have any pre-recorded spatial videos, Meta is providing demo videos that you can watch in the meantime, also found in the Files menu.

Along with spatial video playback, the latest software update brings support for external gamepads — via Bluetooth or USB-C — on the Meta Quest Browser. That includes PlayStation (DualSense and DualShock) and Xbox controllers. Content creators will also be delighted by the official rollout of in-app live streaming, available through Facebook and YouTube.

Also: The best VR headsets: Expert tested and reviewed

Finally, Meta is making it easier to navigate controller-free with new single-gesture quick actions. Looking down at your hand and tapping your thumb and index finger opens or closes the Universal Menu, which shows general information like time and battery status, as well as your frequently used apps. A long pinch recenters the menu bar, in case you ever wander off in the virtual world.

Meta

For users who prefer the traditional Quick Action Menu, myself included, which includes tools like screen recording, taking photos, and muting the microphone, you can switch back by going to Settings > Movement tracking > and turn off Expanded Quick Actions.

Also: How these $400 XR glasses cured my Apple Vision Pro FOMO

Meta says it’s rolling out the v62 update “gradually,” so you’ll have to hang in there a little longer before reaping the benefits of all the new features mentioned above.

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