The next version of Oculus Quest’s system software will enable people to set up VR play spaces stretching up to 15 meters in either direction.
UploadVR confirmed with Facebook that from Quest system software v30, people should be able to draw Guardian boundaries up to 15 meters long in either direction. That translates to virtual walls up to 49 feet long, for an area measuring more than 2,400 square feet. That means we could soon see VR play areas covering more ground than the square footage of many homes.
Facebook says the previous maximum Guardian size was 10 meters in either direction, with a diagonal maximum of around 7.5 meters. For comparison, equipping a space with four of Valve’s 2.0 base stations can track headsets and accessories in a space measuring up to 10 meters by 10 meters.
“We expect this to benefit a variety of apps that require more space and movement in VR,” a Facebook representative explained over email.
Recent updates to the ‘Oculus Insight’ computer vision system powering the Quest 2 allow players to mark where their desk and couch is located, and to quickly switch to seated play from standing. The software warns players of potential obstacles during the initial drawing process of their play space. A dormant prompt found within the system software suggests further updates might be on the way, including “intrusion detection” that could alert you if something larger than a human hand enters your play space.
Larger play sizes – and a more robust understanding of the physical environment – will be necessary to unlock new kinds of “mixed reality” experiences that blend simulated content with your actual location. More advances are still needed, however, to unlock some of the most exciting ideas. Facebook showed an impressive arena-scale mixed reality experience back in 2018 and references to a co-location API were found in earlier versions of the Oculus software development kit, but Facebook told UploadVR this week “We don’t currently have plans to introduce co-location APIs for Quest.”
That’s notable because multiplayer experiences like Space Pirate Arena — which requires a court-sized play space — are forging ahead despite the absence of official support.
“There are two ways to play Space Pirate Arena, co-location is our preferred way, and involves both players sharing the same physical space,” the setup page for the game explains. “This is not recommended by Oculus, so be aware there’s a chance you might run into someone while playing the game.”
Earlier this year, Facebook’s executives signaled Quest 2 is likely to be sold for “a long while” and remains the “most accessible way to get into VR.” It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 processor and, in lieu of new VR hardware this year, Facebook is rolling out constant software updates to the system to harness the chip’s power and enabling new functionality.