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Meta Quest 3 adds Spatial Video Support, stealing the Apple Vision Pro’s Thunder

Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, recently made a playful remark to Meta Quest 3 users, humorously suggesting that they already have access to a similar feature as Apple’s Vision Pro. This hint indicates Meta’s plan to introduce Apple’s “spatial video” feature to the Meta Quest 3, enhancing the VR headset’s capabilities and incorporating Vision Pro’s popular “pinch controls.”

Set to roll out in the week of Feb. 7, Meta’s upcoming v62 update will include a dedicated spatial video gallery, offering a preview for Quest users. This means that owners of iPhone 15 Pro, Pro Max, and Vision Pro devices can enjoy their 3D videos on Quest 2, Quest Pro, and Quest 3 headsets. Zuckerberg himself demonstrated this functionality on Instagram, showcasing a 3D video of twin pines viewed through the Quest 3 passthrough.

According to Meta’s CTO, Andrew Bosworth, Quest users have already been accessing spatial videos on their headsets, albeit through a more complex process. Apple’s spatial video technology encodes content from dual perspectives, enabling it to be displayed on both lenses of a VR headset for a 3D effect. With the addition of a dedicated spatial video gallery, Quest users can seamlessly enjoy their 3D content without hassle. However, there’s a limitation: videos are capped at 20 minutes on the Quest 3, while Apple’s MR device offers virtually unlimited viewing.

But Meta isn’t stopping there. Taking inspiration from Apple’s VR debut, the Quest now features a pinch gesture to access the universal menu. Holding the same gesture will refresh the headset’s view, ensuring optimal performance. The v62 update also brings other enhancements, including support for up to 15 spaces for easy navigation between rooms without rescanning. It’s a level of seamlessness reminiscent of the Apple Vision Pro, and Meta is clearly striving to keep pace with the competition.

Priced at $500, the Quest 3 offers impressive capabilities and represents Meta’s most advanced VR technology at an affordable price point. Compared to the $3,500 Apple Vision Pro, the Quest 3 is a fraction of the cost. Meta is banking on the buzz surrounding Apple’s entry into mixed reality to lift its own VR platform. This is especially crucial following Meta’s latest financial report, which revealed significant losses in its VR-centric Reality Labs division. Despite this, Zuckerberg remains optimistic about the Quest 3’s prospects, confident it will maintain its status as the leading mixed reality device.

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