Oculus Passthrough Mixes VR with Real World

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Facebook-owned Oculus confirmed the ability to mix up Virtual Reality and, well, reality in its latest developer update. ‘Passthrough API Experimental’ is no doubt a step in the right direction for Mark Zuckerberg’s online metaverse, where he sees members of the public integrating VR into day-to-day life. Yes, we think he’s been watching too many Marvel films too.

Passthrough is the latest developer API to push mixed reality experiences that builds on ideas laid down years ago by Google Lens and HoloLens. Oculus have listed the benefits for the v31 SDK release below:

  • Productivity: Enable users to collaborate with a remote team of co-workers or friends through virtual monitors, while accessing their physical keyboard and desk.
  • Gaming: Create games that blend the excitement of a virtual world into the comfort and familiarity of the real world, like zombies hiding in your living room.
  • Co-located Social Presence: Allow users to be both engaged in your virtual content and able to interact with people and pets in the same room, at the same time.

The update effectively allows developers to turn the Oculus Quest 2 into a mobile development kit, and currently, Quest 2 is the only compatible Oculus headset. Others will follow in the future according to UploadVR.

Another interesting point is Oculus making a point of the software not storing scenery, only using its four cameras for real-time video images. There’s a ridiculous amount of potential with blurring lines in the VR space. Think PlayStation Eye Toy games but entertaining and making use of a player’s environments. With other plans such as live pop-ups and multitasking enhancements, working from home may end up being working for VR in the near future.

Christian 'Reggie' Waits' is a contributor to PC Guide, having written a wide array of how to and buying guide content.