Meta will improve Meta Quest 3’s passthrough over time with software updates, confirms Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth.
Meta Quest 3 is being marketed as the first mass-market mixed reality headset. A key factor of this technology is how well the physical environment is digitally reproduced within the headset.
The Quest 3’s passthrough is superior to the Quest Pro’s and leaps and bounds ahead of the Quest 2’s monochrome passthrough, but still far from perfect.
In lower light conditions, the passthrough quality drops and the image becomes grainy, as Ben noted in his Quest 3 review.
In addition to being highly dependent on lighting conditions, there is also distortion around hands and other close objects. And objects that move quickly appear jerky. Such effects can cause nausea in some people. So there is still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to passthrough quality.
Meta CTO promises better passthrough down the line
The good news is that passthrough will get better over time, although it’s unclear by how much. Here is what Andrew Bosworth said in his most recent Ask Me Anything on Instagram about potential passthrough improvements:
“I’ve been thrilled with all of people’s experiences with passthrough so far, which has been super positive. We’ve seen people going about their day doing the dishes with it, I love to see those videos. But the answer is yes, it will continue to improve. As we continue to get real-world lighting conditions and information from the headsets that have been picked up, we start to tune the algorithms that drive it more effectively. And so I do think it will continue to improve from here for a little while, as we do a better job depth estimating where your hands are and working with distortion around that and things like that. We are going to continue to work on it as we have with the Quest Pro.”
Apple will set new standards
Meta Quest Pro has received undocumented passthrough improvements via software updates since its launch in October 2022, but the quality hasn’t made much of a leap, according to user reports. Quest 3 will reach many more people due to its lower price alone, and hopefully motivate Meta to improve passthrough more significantly over time.
The Apple Vision Pro, which costs seven times as much as Quest 3, will also be released in the spring. This mixed reality headset should raise the bar for passthrough quality and put pressure on Meta to make improvements to Quest 3.
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