What does the new v35 Quest update hold and what does it signal?

What does the new v35 Quest update hold and what does it signal?

Published: 08-12-2021
Updated: 17-03-2023

Meta will gradually send out the Quest v35 update, introducing Horizon Workroom customization, automatic cloud saving, Facebook Messenger integration, and Mixed Reality casting.

MR casting, cloud saves, FB Messenger in VR, and Horizon Workrooms customization

On December 1st, Meta (former Facebook) rolled out its new v35 update to its Oculus Quest headsets – soon-to-be Meta Quest. 

The update added Horizon Workrooms customization, Mixed Reality casting, global cloud saves, and Facebook Messenger calls in Virtual Reality. All announced in a blog post by Meta.

The Mixed Reality casting makes it so you can record yourself playing Beat Saber™ (and a series of select other games) and cast it through the Oculus app on your iPhone with your body shown hitting those neon arrows. As the blog says, “not just by seeing how it looks in-game but how it physically plays—and that’s what really matters in VR.”

Previously Meta added Live Overlay, resembling that of MR casting. However, that feature was superimposing the player on top of the avatar in the VR game. This feature casts the player’s body with a one-to-one similarity.

Furthermore, the cloud saving function enables games to automatically save even if the Quest is turned off, or if the Oculus App is uninstalled. Although, as of this moment, the feature is not in all devices – likely testing server capacity – so the Cloud Save feature will be introduced gradually, “to make sure it works correctly,”

Lastly, is the enterprise-requested feature of customizing Horizon Workrooms to match the businesses branding, as well as “to start building a work environment that reflects their company culture and style.”

Which phones are compatible with Meta’s Oculus Quest MR casting?

Currently, MR casting is only available on iPhone, as new developments are easier, faster, and cheaper to implement compared to the differing pantheon of phones that use the Android OS.

So below is a breakdown of which phones support MR casting.

Mobile Device Supported Not Currently Supported
iPhone XR X
iPhone XS X
iPhone XS Max X
iPhone SE – 2nd version X
iPhone 11 X
iPhone 11 Pro X
iPhone 11 Pro Max X
iPhone 12 X
iPhone 12 Pro X
iPhone 12 Pro Max X
iPhone 12 mini X
iPhone 13 X
iPhone 13 Pro X
iPhone 13 Pro Max X
iPhone 13 Mini X
iPad (all models) X
Android phone (all models) X
Android tablet (all models) X

What are the notable key features?

Casting in Mixed Reality on a phone screen from a Virtual Reality experience is noteworthy in that only complicated XR device setups can achieve this. It is a far cry from each other. But it spells the beginning of software and algorithm driven XR developments: democratizing XR functions enabling more businesses to take advantage of such opportunities.

Additionally, Meta’s rollout of XR casting is also a sign to compete in the sizeable Video Streaming Market projected to hit, by Allied Market Research, a market cap of $149.34 billion by 2026.

A market consistent both of the advanced casting from the Amazon-owned Twitch to the smaller Reddit Live Stories. Although, the broad Video Streaming Market definition also includes music, video-on-demand, vlogs, and YouTube videos. The point is that the total addressable market is inflated compared to the casting segment Meta just entered.

Furthermore, Facebook Messenger integration into the Quest line-up is no small update. This signals further interactions and development towards an interconnected VR: a metaverse. Normalizing virtual reality with everyday activities such as making calls, developing a Natural User Interface.
However, it is unlikely that enterprises will utilize this messenger function, as businesses opt for more secure and private communication, usually as integration within existing internal communication channels.

Conclusion

With the rollout of casted MR, a sign of competition within the Streamed Video Market was signaled by Meta. Furthermore, both the customization of Horizon Workrooms and Facebook Messenger integration are a sign of normalizing and personalizing virtual reality, spelling yet another move towards the Metaverse. It will be interesting to follow further updates slated for the Oculus Quest headsets – soon-to-be-named Meta Quest.