Meta is testing customizable 360-degree backgrounds for your virtual living room.
Meta is currently testing such a feature, as Twitter user Luna proves with two screenshots. She participates in the Public Test Channel, where new firmware updates and features are beta tested before they roll out to regular users.
The feature is called Custom Skybox View and is part of the v54 PTC build. The previous v53 update has been rolling out to regular users since the end of April.
The description of the experimental feature states:
“Enhance or personalize the skybox view that surrounds your Home environment by selecting from one of the preinstalled options or uploading your own image. Manage your skybox image in Settings under Personalization. This feature is not available in co-present experiences and may not work in all environments.”
First step to customizability?
The replaceable skybox is, to my knowledge, the first freely customizable element of Quest’s virtual living room, also called Horizon Home. One downside is that only you can see your custom skybox, not your guests. But Meta might change that in the feature.
Horizon Home rolled out in June 2022. Meta teased the possibility of one day being able to customize your VR home, but that feature has yet to materialize.
Sidequest offers a great way to add variety to your VR home. Once installed on Meta Quest 2, you can browse and install user-generated home environments right in VR: from Star Wars to Matrix to Half-Life: Alyx, it’s all there. Check out our custom home installation guide and give it a try. Setup is easier than you think thanks to numerous improvements Sidequest introduced over the past years.
Whether the custom skybox feature will be included in the next firmware update is unclear. The same goes for the background audio playback that Meta is currently testing. It will supposedly allow you to listen to YouTube and Spotify while you are in a VR app.
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