Meta is channeling Apple Vision Pro in the upcoming Meta Quest UI update

Moving virtual windows around like a tablet on a Meta Quest 3
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • In his monthly AMA on Instagram, Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth gave the first details on the upcoming Meta Quest UI overhaul.
  • Bosworth said the new UI will be more personalized than ever, and it will include new ways of interacting with nearby devices.
  • The new UI will have a heavy emphasis on mixed reality, including stationary and pinned menus and apps.
  • An upgraded keyboard will allow users to type with all fingers, and Quest 3 users will soon be able to use the headset while lying down.

A huge new UI upgrade is coming to the Meta Quest some time this year, and Meta CTO Andrew "Boz" Bosworth gave us the first details in his March AMA on Instagram. The CTO said he didn't want to "give too much away" before the big reveal but talked about how the company was working to make the Quest UI feel more personalized than ever.

Bosworth said this new personalized UI would be designed to go wherever life takes you, including the ability to pin windows to you or your head. That would make it possible to walk around and have windows follow you while you do chores or walk around the house.

Bosworth also said the company is working on allowing users to anchor windows in real space, giving the headset similar abilities to the Apple Vision Pro even though it's 1/7th the price. This means you could pin a display to your wall and make it look and feel more like a TV resting in actual space, among other examples. It would also enhance the headset's multitasking capabilities by running more windows in the same physical space.

While the current Meta Quest UI can replicate some of these things with its panel design, Bosworth says that "fluidity with how you interact with these two things is of tremendous opportunity to make things feel really comfortable and clear."

The new UI will also allow users to interact better with other nearby devices. Bosworth talked about how "casting and streaming present a lot of opportunity" for Meta. Still, we've also seen use cases where users can interact with smart home appliances and lighting right in mixed reality. In other words, if Meta is working on integrating nearby device connectivity, we could very well be able to adjust lights and other smart home devices right from the headset.

Nicholas Sutrich using a Meta Quest Pro at the hands-on event at Meta HQ in NYC

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

The upcoming Meta Quest 3 Lite was rumored to drop the color pass through at one point, but Bosworth confirmed that "mixed reality...platform capabilities will be the same" for "several generations of headsets to come."

Bosworth also talked about user comfort including bringing back the ability to use the Meta Quest 3 while lying down. Currently, the Smart Guardian doesn't properly track furniture walls safely when users are lying down stationary, but the company says this oversight will be ironed out soon.

Lastly, the keyboard is getting some impressive improvements with multitouch capabilities. That means you could pin the virtual keyboard to a table and type with all your fingers at once, just as you would on a physical keyboard. That would go quite nicely with the upcoming Airplane mode, as it could mean the virtual keyboard would fit perfectly on that small airplane tray table on the seat.

There's no date for the upcoming UI refresh, but it's expected that Meta will debut the redesign sometime in 2024, potentially alongside a Meta Quest Pro 2 announcement.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu