In a video posted to Reddit earlier this week, developer Dominik Hackl showed footage of his AR app, Magic Keys, running on Oculus Quest using the experimental passthrough API.
The footage, embedded below, was posted to Reddit and shows Hackl playing a real life keyboard while using an AR overlay on the passthrough view to learn songs in real time.
The concept is similar to VRtuos, which we wrote about last year, and other similar VR piano apps available for Quest. The notes appear above the keys in sequential order, in a synthesia-like fashion, allowing you to learn a piece in real time without the need for sheet music or any existing knowledge.
Piano apps on Quest have had to use hand tracking and virtual piano calibration to line up the virtual keys with your real piano. While it worked pretty well, there was sometimes still a small feeling of disconnect between playing the real piano and seeing the virtual one. However, using AR to present the notes overlaid on a live view of a real piano has potential to be a game changer.
What’s especially notable about Magic Keys on Quest is that it’s an AR app, developed initially for tablets and then the HoloLens and Magic Leap One. Now that the Quest’s experimental passthrough API is available, it has been ported over to the Oculus Quest.
Magic Keys is not available publicly yet, but Hackl says that an APK will be available soon. However, it will have competition — existing Quest piano apps such as Grand Reality and VRtuos have indicated that experimental passthrough support on Quest may be in the works. In the case of the latter, a beta APK is already available to download on its Discord server.