Footage Appears of Quest Pro Mixed Reality Passthrough and Peripheral Blinders in Action
Virtual reality developer Immersed has shared a short video showing Meta’s new color passthrough and peripheral blinders in action.
The video, packaged in a GIF, was shared by Immersed CEO Renji Bijoy in a blog post. In the first few frames of the video, you can make out what looks like the upcoming Meta Quest Pro headset that will be launched next week. The transitions in the video show the headset’s color passthrough. Although the GIF has been yanked out from the blog post, it has already been copied several times and is being shared widely.
The Quest Pro headset is launching five days from now. Meta is still calling it by its codename, Project Cambria although in an interview a few weeks ago, Zuckerberg used the words ‘Quest Pro’. The name ‘Quest Pro’ is also referenced in the Quest iOS app. The name was all but confirmed a week ago when a hotel worker bumped into an engineering sample purportedly left behind by someone with early access to the hardware and proceeded to unbox it and share the unboxing video online. The retail packaging in that sample shows a Quest Pro name.
In the unboxing video, it is apparent that that headset does not have a facial interface which means a wearer would see the real world in their peripheral version. While this can come in handy in mixed reality experiences, it would be distracting in virtual reality experiences where the user is to be fully immersed in computer-generated experiences. In Bijoy’s GIF, the headset has side blinders that prevent this (distractions from peripheral light) from happening by blocking out peripheral light.
Meta hasn’t divulged whether the headset will ship with a similar facial interface. The blinders shown in the Immersed video seem to cover only the sides of the headset and not below the eyes like in all of the current virtual reality headsets.
The color passthrough is probably the most important new feature in the new Project Cambria headset. The current Quest 2 has a low-resolution black-and-white passthrough. The Quest Pro headset, on the other hand, is built with higher resolution cameras with both color and depth sensors that allow for a very practical mixed-reality experience. The color passthrough is visible in Bijoy’s GIF which shows it being used alongside to place virtual monitors next to a MacBook.
The quality of the passthrough can’t be assessed from a GIF image, though. We also had a glimpse of the color passthrough last week when Mark Zuckerberg teased a mixed reality fencing game using the color passthrough although the Zuckerberg clip, too, had heavy video compression making it difficult to assess the clarity of Quest Pro’s mixed reality experience.
It appears the Quest Pro headset has a more balanced design than the Quest 2. Its visor is slimmer thanks to the use of pancake lenses, instead of the Fresnel lenses used in Quest 2 and other headsets. The pancake lenses have also been used in the Pico 4 series and can support smaller panels that have shorter gaps to the lenses thereby allowing for slimmer and lighter visors in the headset design. The Quest Pro headset also features built-in eye tracking and face tracking that power avatars in social experiences, making the avatars appear livelier and more engaged.
Immersed has been venturing into virtual workplace applications. The Immersed app already provides a VR office environment for Quest 2 where users can meet virtually with other avatars or overlay digital screens onto the real-world environment.
Quest Pro is launching on October 11 during Meta’s annual AR/VE event where the company will also be outlining its next steps. According to Meta, the headset will cost significantly more than $800 and will be sold alongside the Quest 2 headset.