The team at echo3D loves creating games for the Oculus and making it easier for developers to do the same. The Oculus Quest 2 made up 78% of VR headset sales in 2021 and doubled so far in 2022 according to TechRadar. Here are the features we are most excited about when it comes to the best-in-class headset.
1. Positional Audio
Audio is built directly into the headset so you can hear audio spatially in real-time. If someone is sneaking up on you, you can hear their footsteps get closer and identify which direction they are coming from. This is particularly helpful when you’re dealing with a first person shooter situation.
2. Dynamic Controllers
The controllers are more than just buttons with grips. These smart controllers have built in sensors that register throws, slashes and grabs that reflect accurately in the VR experiences, adding a ton of dynamic interaction to the game play.
3. Hand Tracking
This is probably one of the coolest features. By setting down the Touch controllers, you can use your hands to activate hand tracking in certain games. You’re able to move, grab, navigate menus and more with hand tracking. Not only are there games made for just hand-tracking, the entire Oculus app works with hand-tracking. You just have to enable this in Settings and you’re good to go!
4. Oculus Link & Air Link
Even though a wireless VR headset was the goal, some people still want to access titles that only work with Rift. Users can do this with the Oculus Link cable or Air Link. Air Link is still in beta and doesn’t work that well yet but you follow this guide to try to get it working here.
5. 120Hz Refresh Rate
This originally launched with a refresh rate of 72Hz but it was quickly updated within a year of its release. This lowers latency to almost nothing and helps eliminate that famous nausea people often complain about. Feeling nauseous during your favorite game is no fun!
6. Fitness Tracking
There has been a huge emergence in VR fitness games (you can see a list of the top ones here), especially in 2021 when more people were working from home. It works similar to FitBit by using movement to calculate calories burned. The fact that you can play a game and move rapidly in an hour while burning calories without feeling like you’re working out is a nice position to be in.
7. Keyboard and Bluetooth Mouse Support
Sometimes using a keyboard and mouse is just quicker! Now you can with both the Quest and Quest 2. Pairing the bluetooth mouse is easy and just requires visiting your Settings in the headset. Not all experiences work with the keyboard or mouse input but it certainly comes in handy with the Oculus browser or any debugging that’s needed. Another fun tip is using the Virtual Desktop app remotely to access your PC and work from within the headset. That might be useful to help with focus.
8. Passthrough Background
Being able to see past the guardian in VR is so important when you need to find stuff around your house, like buzzing your Postmates driver in or finding the controllers you threw across the room during an intense round of Beat Saber. The shortcut allows users to access this with a double tap to the side of the headset. This feature can be turned on in Settings under Guardian. They even allow you to create the passthrough as your virtual environment so the transition between the two is much more seamless.
9. Voice Commands
Sometimes you want to dive right into an experience and now you can summon it through voice control. You can enable to double tap feature in Settings under Device and ask it to do a handful of things like open specific apps, search for something on the web, take a screenshot, browse menus, change the volume or see if any of your friends are online. Here’s a list of the commands available. They also enabled an “awake” word which is, “Hey Facebook” by default. This can be changed to whatever
10. Smartphone Notifications In Headset
Some people get into VR to escape while some get into VR to stay connected. If you want to stay connected and have an iPhone (Android coming soon), you can enable this feature following these instructions. Conveniently, you can also turn on “Do Not Disturb” mode to temporarily silence notifications instead of dive into Settings to permanently turn the feature off. This is useful in case you want to put grandma through the new Star Wars experience and don’t want her to get distracted.
11. Mixed Reality Casting
Before, users had to get creative with cables, a green screen and third party software to be able to cast what’s happening in a headset but now it’s so simple! While it’s only available on newer iPhones for now, it’s super easy with the Oculus app. This actually creates a much cooler effect than a regular greenscreen by showing the VR version of your hands instead of the controllers.
As the 3D development environment and best practices change, echo3D offers a solution that’s constant. It’s never been easier to make engaging VR apps. With echo3D, updates are faster, easier and consistent across all platforms!
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echo3D (www.echo3D.co; Techstars 19’) is a cloud platform for 3D/AR/VR that provides tools and network infrastructure to help developers & companies quickly build and deploy 3D apps, games, and content.