Typing in VR: The right way to join a keyboard to your Oculus Quest 2

The Oculus Quest 2 and the Logitech K830 keyboard. Laptop replacement? Not yet.

Scott Stein / CNET

So … this is my experiment. I just threw a controller on the floor because it was invisible. But my keyboard is not. It is here in front of me. But my hands are ghosts. I see them floating over the keys. It looks like I’m the one who’s virtual.

What’s happening?

That’s the first thing I typed in when I paired a bluetooth keyboard with the Oculus Quest 2 and pointed the browser to Google Docs. Thanks a new software updateNow you can type and see your hands hover over a virtual keyboard. Experimental, but possible.

I also wrote the following:

I see the buttons and the screen and now I really feel like I’m in a room somewhere. One with glowing spheres floating on a screen and my keyboard. The Oculus Quest 2 is kind of like a computer to me now.

I’m trying to stand by keyboard on a bookshelf. The angles are wrong, the monitor is too high. Then I go to my desk and put the keyboard there. The browser window floats a few feet away, and my keyboard feels better aligned. I can see my hands and buttons on the periphery, type, and get a feel for what helps me align the buttons by touching them.

My hands appear as that piece of cut-out passthrough overlaid on the keyboard image associated with the location of that particular physical keyboard. I can see which keys I am typing … they are glowing blue.

And then when I take a screen capture, my hand outlines disappear. With that in mind, I guess I can’t really record myself typing it for you, but you can still get a feel for it.

And now my hands don’t come back

Here they are again.

To try this VR trick for yourself, you need Oculus Quest OS V28which is now being rolled out to headsets. You also need a specific keyboard: the Logitech K830. The K830 has Bluetooth as well as its own trackpad and buttons. Go to the Oculus Quest settings and make sure hand tracking is enabled. You can then pair the keyboard and enable keyboard tracking in the experimental functions.


What the keyboard looked like in VR while I was writing this story. I could see my spooky hands too, but they don’t appear in screenshots (creepy).

Scott Stein / CNET

Not everything worked for me at first: I restarted the headset and then reset all of the experimental settings to the defaults. Then I tried again and it kicked in. (Some people on Reddit suggest a factory reset is required, but I didn’t go that far.)

You can pair any Bluetooth keyboard and mouse with an Oculus Quest 2. However, the K830 has the added benefit of being visible in VR and triggering the hand-passthrough effect.

How to set it up:

  1. In the Oculus Quest Settings, go to the Experimental Features section and find the Bluetooth Pairing option. Tap the pairing button to connect the keyboard. Make sure that hand tracking is also activated – this is done under the general settings.
  2. Once that’s done, you can try selecting the Track Keyboard setting in Experimental Features to adjust the opacity of your spooky hands. (This adjusts how much you can see on the keyboard through them.) But that didn’t work for me, so I ignored this step.
  3. The K830 keyboard should appear like a graph above the Oculus main menu.
  4. If you don’t see it, try resetting the Experimental Features settings to their defaults. This worked for me. Make sure your keyboard is turned on. If that doesn’t work, restart Quest 2.

The keyboard must sit still in order for it to be properly followed. So you need to put them on a flat desk. Also, Oculus suggests that room lighting shouldn’t be too dark. As I put my hands near the keyboard, I saw my ghostly hands and fingers appear over it. Strange but interesting.

At first it was disgusting and I didn’t have the same sense of key awareness as I usually do with a laptop (or even a phone or tablet). The craziest thing for me was that when I relaxed a bit, it felt like I was on a computer. Being aware of my peripheral vision of my hands and the keyboard was enough to keep my typing on track.

There are a lot of limitations here: I used the Oculus browser and entered Google Docs. Even then, I received a warning that Facebook’s browser is not a supported browser for Google Apps. It seemed to work fine, but be aware.

Other apps didn’t seem to work with it yet. Immersed, an app that can expand my Mac to Quest 2 and stream multiple virtual monitors with the headset, didn’t recognize the floating keyboard or my spooky hands (I could only type invisibly, which is possible with any keyboard). . The other VR browser on Oculus, Firefox Reality, didn’t seem to recognize the new passthrough typing effect either.

Could Facebook’s evolution of VR input turn the Quest 2 into a Chromebook? A trip computer? What if Facebook tries to get this typing trick to work without a keyboard? I’m thinking about how my input, combined with my hand overlays, could help Facebook train this future algorithm. My typing speed increased the more I used it. It started to feel natural (ish).

But right now I’m not giving up on my laptop, tablets or phones. The Oculus Quest 2 dips its toes into work tools, but the road ahead can be bumpy and experimental.

Look at that:

Facebook debuts Oculus Quest 2


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