What you need to know
- The V54 update for the Meta Quest platform is rolling out sometime in late May 2023.
- Users will be able to customize the skybox in their Horizon Home environment and, soon, AI tools can help you generate new ones.
- 2D apps can now deliver notifications, music can be played in the background, and Quest Pro controller tracking is now more accurate.
If you've been a Quest user for a while, you know there are only so many different home environments. Meta provides around a dozen or so, and while you can always sideload new environments, that requires a developer account and some extra setup. Thankfully, with the upcoming V54 update for Meta Quest headsets, you'll finally have a third option.
Unveiled during Meta's AI showcase, the new environments launching with the update are AI-generated and showcase what AI can do for VR environments. I generated the background in the picture above using Bing ChatGPT, and it looks like we'll be able to do the same in VR very soon.
"New experimental feature in the coming weeks lets you customize your skybox on Quest home," said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Instagram. "With AI soon you'll be able to generate anything you want."
As you can see in the GIF below, the boundaries beyond the default Quest home environment have been replaced with something quite a bit different from what you're likely used to.
Zuckerberg let users know that any 360-degree JPG or PNG measuring 6144x3160 pixels can be used as a custom skybox. For now, this skybox isn't visible to other users who visit your home, but it's possible that they'll update it to include that feature in the future.
Meta says this is just one of many new updates rolling out soon to make "Home Environments more personal and customizable."
Moving on, 2D apps like Facebook Messenger are getting proper Android notifications support. Previously, notifications would appear in-headset but didn't give users the ability to interact with them. Now, when a notification appears, you'll be able to interact with it just as you would on your phone.
That means you'll be able to quickly reply to a friend's message without leaving the game you're in, which is a huge improvement to communication features on the platform.
Lastly, Meta has worked to improve some of the strange tracking issues that users have been reporting with the Quest Pro controllers. Since you can buy these and use them with a Quest 2 headset as well as the Quest Pro, these controllers can be used by a fairly wide range of people.
Meta says that it figured out what was causing the odd instances where a controller's position was in a different place than it should be and, with the V54 update, controllers should now always match up in VR and real-world space.
You can finally let go of those Quest Pro controllers without fear of dropping them with these great controller covers by Globular Cluster. Lots of designs don't offer enough support or have uncomfortable straps. These solve both those problems.
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