For the Quest and Quest 2 virtual reality headsets, Oculus has begun rolling out a series of new software capabilities. The v32 version makes minor but significant changes to the in-headset user experience as well as the Oculus Move health tracking app. The option to seamlessly sync saved photographs and videos shot in VR to the Oculus mobile app for iOS and Android grabbed my interest the most.
Oculus formerly allowed you to upload files from a headset using the Browser app within VR, which was an upgrade over the previous way of hooking the headset into a PC. However, this upgrade takes things a step further by allowing you to see or share content without using a headset. To sync objects from your headset (with v32 software, of course) to the app for the first time, go to your Quest’s app library and open the Files app, then click the cloud icon in the top-right corner. It will prompt you to enable the syncing feature. Your films and photos will be available and shareable once you’re done under the Oculus mobile app’s “Devices” window.
Other updates announced by Oculus include the ability to gift apps and games while wearing the headset. Previously, giving had to be done through the Oculus app or a browser, which was inconvenient, but now you can do it all in one location.
If you want to talk with your Oculus pals in virtual reality, you’ll find them under the “People” tab in Facebook Messenger in VR, rather than in a distinct section. Although your Oculus contacts will display in the same list as your Facebook friends, Oculus claims that the friends you make in VR won’t be able to access Facebook activity unless you add them as Facebook friends, thus they will remain separate despite how it seems on the app.
This will be the new setup for everyone who installs the v32 software, according to Oculus, however you can use a filter to view your Oculus or Facebook friends instead of both.
Finally, Oculus is tweaking its Move fitness platform, which can detect your motions within games and report stats in the same way as a fitness tracker can. Instead of merely tracking daily goals, Oculus has included a new weekly goal measure that allows you to choose how many days per week you want to work out in VR. It also allows you to proudly display Oculus Move workout stats on your Facebook timeline, in groups, or within Messenger.
A New Future For Oculus?
Since its inception, the Oculus has been on the backfoot to both the Vive and Steam brand VR headsets. Due to the invasive DRM, and Facebook store integration, the headset has not seen the meteoric rise of its competitors.
Does this new technology finding its way into the Oculus spell a different future for the VR headset? Many industry leaders have speculated that we’ll be thinking very differently about the Quest series of VR products in the near future.