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Oculus Quest v31 Adds Experimental Passthrough API For Mixed Reality

Oculus Quest v31 Adds Experimental Passthrough API For Mixed Reality

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is teasing that the upcoming v31 update for Oculus Quest “makes it easier to coordinate multiplayer games by sending friends pop-up invites, and gives developers access to Passthrough API Experimental to build and test mixed reality experiences.”

The update is coming “soon”  with Zuckerberg posting to Facebook that more details are on the way. Recently, Zuckerberg himself has been the first to tease upcoming features for Oculus Quest as the company builds toward a so-called “Oculus Quest Pro” headset to release sometime after 2021. Though Facebook might bump the entry level $299 Quest 2 to 128 GB of storage, Facebook isn’t expected to release a new VR headset in the near future. Instead, the company is focusing on near-constant software updates to the system running Quest 2 to improve the overall experience. Last year, Facebook confirmed it would release an application programming interface (API) that would essentially allow for the development of AR apps on Oculus Quest and gave early access to Spatial, a remote work solution.

A blog post from Facebook details the multiplayer features alongside a new security settings panel that’s coming as well, but the post makes no mention of the passthrough API. Facebook rolls out new software updates for Quest over the course of weeks and even longer for some new or experimental features contained within those updates. An update last month for v30 added multitasking, for example, but we haven’t yet seen the feature on our Quest 2 headsets just yet.

With multitasking, a larger and smarter guardian system, major new game releases planned like Resident Evil 4, new avatars, and the beginnings of AR apps, Facebook is laying the groundwork for its Quest 2 headset to be a much more compelling platform heading into the holiday gift-buying season in 2021.

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