Meta teases major UI overhaul for Quest

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Meta is planning a major overhaul of the user interface for its Quest mixed reality headsets, according to the company’s CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth.

In a recent Instagram AMA, Bosworth teased several new UI features aimed at improving personalisation and multitasking on the Quest platform.

One of the key upgrades Bosworth highlighted is the ability to pin windows to your physical position or anchor them in real-world space. This would allow users to walk around their homes while having virtual displays follow them, or to place windows on walls making them appear more like physical TV screens. 

“Fluidity with how you interact between these two things is of tremendous opportunity to make things feel really comfortable and clear,” Bosworth stated.

The upcoming UI refresh will also enhance interaction with other devices, Bosworth said. He suggested users may be able to control smart home appliances and lighting directly from within the Quest’s mixed reality environment. Additionally, improved casting and streaming capabilities are being worked on.

For the Quest 3 and future headsets, Bosworth confirmed mixed reality “platform capabilities will be the same for several generations of headsets to come.” This likely means colour passthrough for blending virtual and real-world views will remain a core feature.

Other UI improvements teased by Bosworth include:

  • Restoring the ability to use the headset while lying down by improving furniture/wall tracking
  • Adding multitouch support for the virtual keyboard, allowing typing with all fingers like a physical keyboard
  • Enhanced multitasking by running more application windows simultaneously in the same physical space

While Bosworth did not provide a specific release date, the revamped Quest UI is expected to debut sometime in 2024, potentially alongside an announcement for a Meta Quest Pro 2 headset.

The UI overhaul promises a more personalised, natural, and fluid experience for Quest users across both virtual reality and mixed reality use cases. With increased market competition from Apple’s entry into the market with its Vision Pro headset, this revamp will be vital for Meta’s competitiveness.

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