October 25, 2023 – Meta is touting its Quest 3 as the first mainstream augmented reality headset, and the performance of its pass-through feature is pivotal. Andrew Bosworth, Chief Technology Officer of Meta, has confirmed that the pass-through feature on the Quest 3 will see improvements through software updates.
While the Quest 3’s pass-through feature is a significant leap forward compared to the Quest Pro and a substantial improvement over the monochromatic pass-through of the Quest 2, it is far from flawless. In low-light conditions, the quality of pass-through significantly deteriorates, leading to a considerable amount of noise in the image.
Apart from being highly dependent on lighting conditions, pass-through also exhibits distortion around the hands and objects in close proximity. Rapidly moving objects can experience stuttering, causing discomfort for some users. Therefore, there is considerable room for improvement in the pass-through quality of the Quest 3.
The good news is that Bosworth has confirmed that the pass-through feature will get better over time, although the extent of improvement remains unclear. Here is what Bosworth had to say about potential pass-through improvements during a recent Instagram Q&A session:
“I’m really excited about the experiences people are having with the pass-through feature right now, which are very positive. We see people wearing it for everyday activities like washing dishes, and I love seeing those videos. But the answer is, yes, it will continue to improve. As we get more real-world lighting conditions and information from headsets sold, we’ll be able to better tune the algorithms that drive it. So, I do expect the feature to continue to improve moderately over time, and we’ll be better at estimating where your hands are and dealing with distortion issues, much like we’ve been doing with Quest Pro.”
It’s worth noting that Meta has made improvements to the pass-through feature of the Quest Pro through software updates since its release in October 2022. However, according to user reports, the quality hasn’t seen significant enhancement. With the Quest 3 expected to sell in larger numbers due to its lower price point, Meta will hopefully be motivated to make more substantial improvements to its pass-through feature over time.
Apple’s Vision Pro headset is also set to launch in the spring of the following year, and it aims to set higher standards for pass-through quality, adding pressure on Meta to improve the Quest 3.