- Double-tapping the side of the Quest 2 activates passthrough mode, which allows you to view what’s going on around you.
- It’s a fantastic button since it only appears when you need it.
- But while the Quest 2 doesn’t allow any peripheral versions—making a better case for passthrough mode—Meta took a different strategy with the Quest Pro.
Virtual reality is used for testing. The greater the field of view and the lower the amount of peeping light, the better. However, as VR gets more popular, there should be a mechanism to instantly reconnect with reality. A safe phrase, so to speak, for exiting VR, whether you’re overwhelmed by a game or want to feel more present.
VR’s popularity is evident. VR is becoming increasingly popular as it positively improves the ways we work, play, and connect with one another, from gaming and productivity to fitness and beyond. People have spent more than $1 billion on Meta Quest applications, which has helped to drive developers’ companies as they offer the games and experiences that make VR wonderful.
At the same time, the expenses of producing and shipping our items have risen. We can continue to raise our investment in revolutionary research and new product development that pushes the VR industry to new heights by changing the pricing of Quest 2.
On Meta’s Quest and Quest 2, the passthrough button does just that. It’s both a safety and a functional gadget, allowing you to view what’s going on outside the headset without having to try to remove it. After firmly double-tapping on each side of the headset where the straps attach, the display will show a view of your room—a pixelated, monochrome stream as viewed from a bunch of low-megapixel cameras.
This button avoids the need to remove the VR headset in the event of a brief interruption. This is great when you need to gather your thoughts when someone calls you from across the room, or if you just want to eat breakfast at your desk without making a mess. When you touch your headset, you gain extra points for looking futuristic.
A “safe word” to bring you out of VR.
But, crucially, this button is invisible—it is not a physical button, but rather a precise location on the headset that awaits a motion. An invisible button runs the danger of being ignored, and the opacity of enabling passthrough mode may keep it hidden from some users.
That intention, however, is critical: it would be inconvenient to have to abandon an intense VR experience due to an incorrect gesture or button press. Meta goes so far as to require you to manually enable the button. To ensure you’re not putting yourself (or others) in danger, you’ll need to flick a switch under Settings, where it’s placed.
Even using motions to switch it on takes thought. Feel the section of the head strap that connects to the headset, then tap it twice quickly and firmly. The delicate “touching your smartphone” doesn’t tap, but rather acts as though you’re attempting to rouse a creature in the headset to do its function.
I would have relished soaring over the wall at the Meta meeting where someone won the argument that the invisible button in Quest 2 was actually the hardware button. Perhaps it was contentious. On the one hand, a genuine, tactile button sounds like a smart idea if you’re selling something that breaks the link with reality (and potentially result in harm or substantial property damage in untrained hands).
However, not everyone, particularly early adopters or seasoned users, wants or requires that level of assistance. The Quest 2’s minimal controls (only a power button and a volume rocker) make it simple to operate. What we discovered was a compromise, but the essential point is that the feature is improved when you use it.
As useful as a passthrough button is for keeping you safe or allowing you to take a sip of your drink at your workplace, it requires some effort on its own. Pipe-through reality is difficult to look at; it shows in a single hue, overblows light sources, and frequently distorts the vision of reality in unusual ways.
It can be excused because they are not used to using it for anything more than short spurts. Meta’s new $1,500 Quest Pro improves on that fidelity with a colour feed as well as a high-quality image for passthrough aficionados who care about quality (they exist!).
While the Quest 2 doesn’t enable any peripheral versions, providing a stronger argument for passthrough mode, Meta chose a different approach with the Quest Pro, allowing you to view passthrough mode while preserving your peripheral vision. Not necessarily what’s on your desk or who’s approaching you.
What most people may not realise, like the 3D Touch or programmable tap-on-back capabilities in certain new phones, is that this hidden gesture-meets-button is only two taps away. But it’s one of my favourite things about Quest 2 because of this easy shortcut that allows me to select whether I’m seeing virtual reality or my reality.