Meta Launches Experimental AR Room Setup Feature for Quest 2
A new Meta Quest feature allows you to import the surrounding real-world environment or merge it with the computer-generated virtual worlds.
This is still an experimental function and it enables users to map out the location of the walls, furniture, and windows. This subsequently enables the Meta Quest 2 to get a better grasp of the space and to remember the arrangement of physical objects in the room.
This makes the environment a part of the virtual reality experience. The environment can also be embedded in AR apps.
The new spatial and object sensing feature is currently rolling out in Quest headsets but the feature is yet to arrive on the Meta Quest 2 headset.
The feature will likely form part of the Scene Understanding API. The interface was launched at the Connect 2021. Meta says this feature will be availed to developers alongside the next SDK release and will, likely, initially be available as an experimental feature.
Developers will be able to experiment with the new interface but they won’t be able to implement it in their virtual reality apps in either App Lab or Oculus Store.
Some developers have implemented a similar functionality to showcase how AR features can bring out a better understanding of space. For instance, developer Thomas van Bouwel did an app experiment that transformed his bedroom walls into massive windows offering an underwater ocean view. The developer Bob Berkebile used the AR features to transform his home into a haunted house.
Both developers built their own mapping tools for measuring objects and spaces. The Scene Understanding API enables the Quest platform to remove the need for future developers to build their own mapping tools for the implementation of such AR features in virtual reality experiences. Berkebile joined Meta earlier this year and Upload VR speculates that it is likely he lent his expertise towards the development of the AR interface for Meta Quest.
Meta’s Scene Understanding API forms part of its Presence Platform which consists of a collection of interfaces that allow for more natural interactions as well as new augmented reality capabilities.
Meta has been rolling out the interfaces to both Quest headsets and developers since last year and this process is likely to conclude in the upcoming SDK release.
Meta is also planning to release The World Beyond AR demo in the App Lab. This is aimed at showcasing the strengths of the Presence Platform as well as Project Cambria’s Color Passthrough mode.
The Project Cambria headset will be launching later in the year.