Oculus Quest v34 detailed: Voice commands, Android, and Space Sense

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Just a week after the last Connect event, Oculus is now rolling out software version 34 of the Quest VR headset, giving users access to a variety of new features and improvements. Notably, the Quest 34 update will make the VR headset more useful for Android users who don’t want to be away from their phones, as well as more convenient voice commands and improved Guardian functions.

Oculus Connect 2021 took place last week, giving Quest headphone owners a look at Horizon Home, Quest for Business, improved multitasking features, an Active Pack for fitness use, support for Messenger voice calls, and the amazingly versatile Presence platform for developers who want to integrate Virtual items with real world.

Although it will take some time to roll out some of these features and changes, Oculus has announced that it is publishing the Quest version 34 software update today. Oculus says this will be slow, which means it may take some time before all Quest owners are required to update the headphones firmware. What can users expect?

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Space Sense joins the Guardian

Oculus users will already be familiar with Guardian – it’s a security feature that allows players to draw a line on the ground, defining the boundaries of the playing area. Guardian is great for avoiding accidentally tripping over furniture or hitting a wall, but it has one big limitation: it doesn’t tell you when someone else enters the play area.

Space Sense is designed to address this issue by alerting players when someone else crosses the boundaries of the play area, such as a toddler who doesn’t realize they’re putting themselves at risk of being trampled or an annoying friend who wants to give you a push while walking through a virtual tightrope.

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Although pranks that involve touching a player while they are wearing a headset often lead to fun social media videos, it remains a risk for a player who, for example, may panic and run outside the playing area or fall, hurting themselves.

Space Sense will also appear when something other than a person is moving within the confines of the play area, such as a larger pet or an object such as a toy firetruck for children. Oculus says Quest users will see the intruder or object in the headset with a pink glow around it.

Virtual reality users have been asking for this kind of feature for a while, and despite its recent rollout, Oculus notes that it’s still working on improving Space Sense. For this reason, the new functionality is an experimental feature and must be enabled in the settings.

Android notifications

Version 34 of the Quest update also brings Android integration, which means gamers who own Android smartphones will be able to see push notifications in a VR environment once the update hits their headset. This same functionality has been available to iPhone users since version 29 of the software update rolled out to users back in May.

With this update, Quest users can enable push notifications using the Oculus app. Once set up, users can then enable notifications using the settings menu within the headset environment. The new functionality supports all app notifications that appear on an Android phone, which means users will see things like text messages, Instagram notifications, newly uploaded YouTube videos from creators they follow, and similar things.

A key aspect of this new support is multi-user accounts, which allow more than one person to share the same Quest headset without seeing other users’ phone notifications. Moreover, users also have the option to disable notification sharing so that their VR environment remains separate from their smartphone.

More voice commands

Voice commands are arguably the easiest way to control a VR headset, eliminating the need to use controllers to point and click menus. The new Quest version 34 update improves the functionality of Oculus voice commands so they can accommodate “everyday tasks,” according to the company.

This includes the new ability to play and pause media in certain apps, including Oculus TV, as well as open Settings, hide transfer stats, ask about the weather, and other simple, common things.

attendance platform

In addition to the three big new updates, Oculus also introduced an update to its API, which is part of the Presence Platform for versatile apps and features. The Passthrough API was released as a developer beta feature earlier in 2021, paving the way for mixed reality experiences that combine elements of virtual reality and the real world. An example of this functionality was shown in a video: Learn to play the piano by displaying the correct song notes superimposed on the player’s actual physical piano.

In its latest update, Oculus said it will soon release an SDK so developers can get mixed reality experiences in the App Lab and Oculus Store. This, in turn, will enable Quest users to download new experiences, enabling them to use their VR headset in a whole new way.

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