Oculus Quest 2 is a superb sport console. Can or not it’s extra?
The year has passed in a flash and the Facebook VR headset remains one of my favorite pieces of technology. While Facebook is pushing to reinvent itself, maybe evenmidst , and makes a new wave of the , the the tiny $ 300 device seems to be the focus. For now, this VR headset remains the most immersive piece of mixed reality technology Facebook has – and it really can get more. But with Facebook’s drive to make the Quest 2 a must-have device, it could be an uphill battle.
Facebook is approaching its nextto discuss how the company will develop in AR and VR despite the demise , keep an eye on the Oculus Quest 2: it’s at the heart of Facebook’s ambitions.
Quest 2 as a game console? Fantastic
The Quest 2 headset is like a distillation of all previous Oculus VR headsets, reduced to an efficient package. Every time I use it and then try something different and come back, I appreciate how good it really is.the the graphics of the system still . Features like hand tracking may be a bit shaky at times, but currently so much better than most other competitors. And even the Quest 2’s ability to scan a room for obstacles before playing, or to recognize desks and keyboards and integrate them into some VR work apps, is a foretaste of a future that isn’t there yet. The Oculus Quest 2 is easy to use and feel like it is playing with new ideas that could change the definition of computers.
It is also easy to find the Quest 2 because of its fascinating, often inventive andGames (I have a bunch that I love and admire). A little goes a lot though, and I find that my sessions end up being pretty limited. Although it connects with others elsewhere, VR is still a solo experience for me at home, where I’m isolated from the rest of the world.
And the Quest 2 is mainly a game system. It still does it best. Everything else, from fitness to collaborative work apps to virtual travel apps, makes them feel like they are at work to varying degrees. But this is exactly the terrain Facebook is looking to tread next after using the success of the headset as a game console as a stepping stone.
The Ray-Ban Stories glasses from Facebook, released alongside Quest 2 earlier this fall. The finished product from Facebook is also not there yet.
Scott Stein / CNET
A bridge to an AR headset? Maybe
Facebook has oneto the but it will be slow for a while. While the company began research, that could support smart glasses wearers, the only glasses-like hardware the company has ever made is a fairly simple set of . There’s nothing like a real AR headset.
However, the Oculus Quest 2 has some of the world’s most scanning camera features that Facebook could rely onbefore making his own more advanced smart glasses. Mixed reality with the headset’s passthrough cameras is already used in the Facebook virtual workspace app connected to the computer. . The next year could see more apps and games immersed in mixed reality on the Quest 2. It is able to handle it.
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A Quest Pro could be Facebook’s entry point into eye and face tracking
The Quest 2 could stay for a while, shifting the lower price zone while Facebook tries to find a more advanced headset called the Oculus Quest Pro with additional sensors.Earlier this year that the capabilities of new sensors would be the most useful thing a professional could add. Face tracking and eye tracking cameras would be the most obvious additions. Facebook could also add compatibility with fitness trackers and smartwatches for fitness and wellness apps.
A Quest Pro would certainly have a higher price. However, it could be the tiered, step-by-step method Facebook is using to integrate eye tracking without the need for Quest owners to necessarily buy a headset with this feature.
Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms app is a taste of how the company aims to manage entire worlds through Facebook accounts.
Facebook’s Facebook-focused VR ecosystem is still a bottleneck
The Oculus Quest 2 is a Facebook product that requires a Facebook account to be used. That’s the hardest to accept, but it’s pretty much the key to the whole equation: Facebook touts its VR hardware low, but it can potentially use that hardware to lock you into its ecosystem. Facebook’s changed guidelines onalso take a close look. While Facebook has promised that some data generated by cameras and sensors when using VR and AR tracking will never be collected or used for ads, this is the same slippery slope that phones, smart home speakers do and most super connected devices feel so invasive.
Facebook promises that its VR ecosystem will work better with other cloud services for things like work or with other devices (the Quest 2 already pairs with iPhones and Android phones, and connects to Windows laptops). How open will all of this hardware continue to feel? If Facebook tries to develop the Quest into a multi-purpose home device, will it be good enough for us to trust it? Gaming is one thing, but fitness, work, and every computer is a whole new level.
HTC’s Vive Flow shows which new glasses shapes could soon appear.
Facebook could see a lot of competitions in 2022
Facebook’s Quest 2 is a strange product: it’s really the only standalone VR gaming device right now. But other major VR gaming competitors could emerge next year. Sony’sseems like a significant upgrade for PlayStation 5 owners. However, this headset won’t be standalone and could end up being a more expensive all-in proposition (a PS5 console would be required). New PC VR headsets also keep coming onto the market. Companies like Apple are , even if it is still completely unknown whether Apple’s first expected AR / VR product would be expensive, productivity-oriented, or even aimed at mainstream audiences.
Finally, there might be other companies out there trying to do what Facebook did, using mobile chips for standalone VR headsets or smaller ones, thehow HTC comes .
However, Facebook needs to figure out its VR situation for kids
Almost everyone I know who owns an Oculus Quest 2 uses it with their kids, or specifically for their kids. I don’t find this surprising or worrying. Facebook never made the Oculus Quest platform kid-friendly: there are no child accounts, no filters on child content, and no discreet control over things like public chat in games. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg told CNET that the Quest is not intended for children and has not yet been developed with child safety in mind.
I agree with Zuckerberg that VR isn’t ideal for kids, and I have no interest in my kids or anyone else’s spending time in the VR worlds of Facebook. But the problem is that it’s already a children’s game console, with or without Facebook’s approval. It has to happen now, not in 10 years, that the focus is better placed on making the quest safer and more independent for children.