Meta Demonstrates ‘The World Beyond’ Mixed Reality Experience
Meta has launched a new demo, The World Beyond, that demonstrates the mixed reality capabilities of the Quest 2 headset.
The World Beyond demo was launched on App Lab and showcases the most advanced features of Meta’s development platforms for both virtual reality and mixed reality.
During the Connect 2021, Meta launched its Presence Platform, which consists of a set of tools and interfaces for Quest 2 that enable developers to create immersive mixed reality environments as well as natural hand and voice interactions. The Presence Platform is expected to lay the foundation for Meta’s fast-growing metaverse.
Some of these interfaces have been gradually rolling out to developers through 2021 and now in 2022. They include the ability to use the Passthrough mode in Quest as well as voice for speech recognition in virtual reality apps.
This week, Meta unveiled the v40 of its software development kit and alongside it The World Beyond demo. Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg posted a video on his Facebook page showing footage from a full-color version of the app on its upcoming Project Cambria headset.
Zuckerberg stated that the demo was made using Meta’s Presence Platform. In the video, you can see Zuckerberg use various hand gestures to interact with a character. You see him throwing a ball which bounces off the physical walls of his room. The character in the video resembles Oppy which Meta demoed a while back using a black and white passthrough mode on Quest 2 at the Connect conference in 2021 but now the experience is relayed in full color.
The World Beyond was created to demonstrate Meta’s Presence Platform. The new software development kit is a key milestone as it rounds up all the Presence Platform features that Meta announced last year. These features can now be fully implemented in both virtual reality and augmented reality apps.
The World Beyond experience starts with a simple setup process where you must first identify the walls encompassing the real-world space. You also need to identify any accompanying furniture like a desk, a couch, and doors and windows. The position and size of these markers can be adjusted at any point when doing the initial setup.
Once you have finished the initial setup, you will see a strange-looking tool emerge from the floor. You can use this virtual device to locate Oppy which is a pint-sized alien creature hiding in some section throughout your real-world space. There will be some delightful “cooing” that you can listen to find Oppy.
You can also use the strange-looking tool as a handheld tractor beam with which to collect energy orbs that are scattered throughout the environment. Alternatively, you can use your two hands.
After going through the basics, proceed to “knock down” the walls in your environment to reveal a lush virtual forest that expands infinitely into the horizon. From here, how you proceed will be up to your imagination. For instance, you can deploy voice commands and interact with Oppy. You can also shoot balls and watch these bounce realistically off the walls and furniture in your space or you can leisurely explore this space. The experience terminates after you have fed Oppy with sufficient energy balls whereupon the adorable creature will take off inside her own virtual spacecraft and disappear.
The World Beyond is a simple experience but it gives you an exposition into the different capabilities of the Presence Platform such as voice commands, and hand tracking as well as its great Scene Understanding capabilities.
The World Beyond experience will also be available on Meta’s upcoming high-end VR headset Project Cambria which is equipped with a high-resolution passthrough for an even more immersive mixed reality performance. The Project Cambria headset is expected to launch sometime this year.