Why Meta Quest 3 represents the future is both mixed reality and augmented reality

  • Meta Quest 3 brings full color passthrough to a consumer-level device
  • Passthrough makes VR headsets much less socially isolating
  • Try first encounters if possible. It’s an enjoyable AR experience

VR may be the hot technology right now, but the future is augmented and mixed reality.


I bought the recently released Meta Quest 3 the other day in early excitement. Launched on September 27th, the VR headset is the latest and greatest in Meta technology. Like the Quest 2 (and the Quest before it), the Meta Quest 3 is a standalone headset and set of controllers that easily immerses you in virtual reality (VR). The new version is slimmer, slightly lighter and has a higher resolution than its predecessor.


But that’s not really what excites me.


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What galvanized my purchase is what VR nerds call “full color transition.” The new Quest 3 has six on-screen cameras (the 2 has three and the Pro only has five). Some of these track your hand movements and help map your physical space so you don’t hit walls while chasing aliens in VR, but they also allow for full-color viewing of the world around you.


This is what we call mixed reality, where digital objects can interact with the real world (or in this case, the camera feed from the real world). The previous step, the one you may be familiar with from your smartphone, is augmented reality, which superimposes digital objects on top of a real-world image.


In any case, using Quest 3 is the second time I see the future. The first was when I held the Quest 2 on my head during the pandemic and felt the atmosphere around me and danced to its rhythm. hit the saberand in some of the most beautiful spaces on this planet through Paranormal.


It seemed that VR had finally arrived HereAnd I was excited to be there.


A little less snowy

However, the problem was twofold. First of all, the images weren’t as sharp as they were on, say, my video game consoles on my HD TV. Quest 2’s framerate also gave me a sick feeling in games where there was a lot of movement. Second, I felt disconnected from my family when playing any type of game, watching Netflix, or exercising while using the headset. There is a black and white traversal system in Quest 2, but it’s grainy and really only good for looking around quickly so you don’t kick the dog.


The full color transition makes playing these games suddenly social in a way that VR isn’t.

The new Quest 3’s 90Hz refresh rate can be boosted up to 120Hz, and the faster rate helps me feel much less stuttering than before. I can play for 10-15 minutes without needing a break, and the higher resolution (on titles updated for the new headset) helps me feel immersed in a much more immediate way.


The real world shines through

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What really works, however, is Quest 3’s view of the real world. I put the VR helmet on my face and it immediately launches into pass mode. My dog ​​is there, my TV is there, my iPhone is there. I can even see what’s on my iPhone screen in case I need a quick text response.


It’s not miraculous by any means, there’s still some grain and some visual warping around the edges (which will eventually improve), but in practice, I don’t always take my headset off to see what’s going on in my space. A quick tap or two on the side of my headset brings this up in full VR mode, so I can answer the door for the FedEx guy without having to interrupt or pause the game.


It’s not just me. IT and technology expert Matt Cranfield notes that full-color images are a game changer.


“In VR/AR/MR, higher-resolution cameras and full-color passthrough enable more immersive experiences,” he told Lifewire in an email. “A mobility rehabilitation project using virtual environments demonstrated patient response and engagement with higher-resolution, full-color images. Increased clarity and depth enhanced immersion and elicited stronger cognitive/emotional responses.”



“Remember the early days of pixelated VR that caused discomfort or even motion sickness? Today’s improved resolutions have alleviated much of this,” Justin Chia, data analyst, web3 and technology, told Lifewire in an email. they give.” Although not a proven medical fact, there is talk that clearer images can reduce psychological distress in VR environments.


However, Chia cautions against just focusing on the visuals.


Higher resolution is not the only solution, he wrote. Rendering 4K or 8K images requires more computing power, battery life, and thermal management. And it doesn’t fix poor content resolution; A clearly bad VR game is still a bad game.


First encounter with Meta Quest 3

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When I first put the Quest 3 on my face, I felt this sea change for VR.


There is an app called First Encounters that comes with the new headset. It’s a basic “shoot all the little puffballs you can see” type of game. What makes this a great showcase, however, is that the puffballs basically come through the walls and invade your actual space. I would walk around the room and find the bright colored spherical creatures behind the couch, under my coffee table, etc. I could even shoot aliens through cracks in my wall that revealed an outer planet.


It’s not a complicated game, but everyone who has come to my house since then has had to play it. The oohs and aahs happen every time because you are literally moving through real space while the video game takes place there. You can run over the dog, avoid the side table, and avoid hitting the delivery box you just received from the mail carrier. People in your environment can watch you play, but better yet, you can see that they are enjoying the experience too. Full color transitions make playing these games suddenly social in a way that VR isn’t.

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Image Source : www.lifewire.com

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