Oculus will soon roll out its v29 software for Quest and Quest 2 headsets, and this one adds more features and functionality to the lineup. The most exciting one is a new Live Overlay casting feature that will give you an easy way to capture a mixed reality view of you using VR superimposed over the content displayed in your headset. Any VR app that supports casting and recording will work with this feature, according to Oculus.
All you’ll need is at least an iPhone XS or newer, a Quest headset, and the Oculus app for iOS updated to a new version that’s coming to “a subset of users.” Then you turn on the feature and have someone aim the camera at you (or aim it at yourself).
There are other highlights to mention in this software version, but I want to focus a moment longer on how big of a technical achievement Live Overlay seems to be. The company’s previous solution, its Mixed Reality Capture Tool on PC for Quest and Rift S, required a bunch of expensive hardware, including a rig with 16GB of RAM, a decent graphics card, your own 1080p webcam, a 5GHz Wi-Fi router, and — of course — your own green screen. But for lucky iOS users who get the app update, Oculus’ improved feature has eliminated the need for almost all of those gadgets. You just need your headset and your phone.
In other casting news, Oculus is allowing you to capture what you’re saying into your headset’s built-in microphone during casting sessions or when you’re recording a video clip. It’s also extending multi-user support and the app sharing feature to owners of the original Quest, so multiple people can share games on a single headset. These features were originally limited to the Quest 2, but Oculus is making good on its pledge to bring them to the Quest.
There’s a Files app coming with this update, and it’ll be located within your app library. Oculus says in its blog post that you’ll be able to download and upload media files “to and from your favorite websites” through the browser built into the headset. In other words, it should be a lot easier to upload content to social media sites other than Facebook.
The last couple of additions include an Infinite Office update that lets iOS users (using an iPhone 7 and newer, with Android support coming soon) see lock screen notifications from within a Quest headset. Oculus is also adding a shortcut for its Passthrough command to the user interface in the Quick Settings menu, giving you an alternative method of triggering it instead of physically double-tapping the side of your headset.
Lastly, Oculus will begin showing ads for VR experiences within the mobile app with the intent to broaden discovery for both developers looking for an audience and users to find new content. This could be useful for smaller developers who have built quality experiences but don’t have the awareness of more popular apps. That said, if you’re a curious Quest owner looking for new experiences, I suggest checking out SideQuest on PC or from an Android phone.