Meta Overhauls UI for Quest Headsets, Promises Richer Mixed Reality Experience

February 18, 2024 – Meta’s Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Bosworth, has announced that the company is undertaking a “fundamental UI infrastructure overhaul” for its Meta Quest headsets. This overhaul aims to deliver an enhanced user experience and a “richer environment” for users.

During the latest Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Instagram on February 14th, Bosworth addressed questions from users regarding the UI update timeline for headsets like Meta Quest 3. While he didn’t provide a specific release date, he did shed light on some of the highly anticipated improvements.

Users have often voiced frustrations about the confusing and complex UI of Meta Quest, making it difficult to find desired content. Although Meta has regularly updated its Android-based system over the years, resulting in significant improvements, many have recognized the need for further enhancements, especially since the release of Apple’s Vision Pro.

Without divulging too many specifics about the upcoming update, Bosworth hinted at the creation of a “richer environment,” suggesting that the company is exploring ways to better integrate mixed reality into the UI. Currently, the mixed reality windows on Quest can only be placed side by side, with a limit of three applications (or windows) running simultaneously.

On the other hand, Apple’s Vision Pro allows users to position windows and applications anywhere in the virtual space, maintaining their positions as the user moves. While Meta’s headset windows can also be fixed in 3D space, users cannot move individual windows independently.

Since the release of Quest 3, Meta has been developing Augmented Reality (AR) features akin to widgets on smartphone home screens. Reports indicate that the company has even shifted some AR team resources to VR to expedite the development of these features and further integrate mixed reality experiences into the Quest UI.

The upcoming UI overhaul could potentially include the ability to place windows and applications anywhere within the mixed reality environment.

During the AMA session, Bosworth also mentioned that Meta might soon lift the three-window limit in Horizon Workrooms, the company’s customized collaboration software that offers up to three virtual displays when connected to a computer. He explained that the initial limitation was imposed due to performance concerns on computers handling multiple windows.

Echoing CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s sentiments, Bosworth emphasized that Quest 3 not only offers better value for money but is also a superior choice for most users compared to Apple’s Vision Pro.

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