The company offers a taste of Project Cambria with a new tech demo available free on the Meta Quest 2.
It was back in October of 2021 that Meta (formerly Facebook) first revealed its Presence Platform, a collection of tools that allow VR developers to craft immersive mixed reality environments, interactions, and voice experiences. According to the company, this platform will lay the groundwork for their rapidly-growing metaverse.
Yesterday, Meta made its full set of Presence Platform tools available to developers, allowing anyone to begin crafting complex mixed reality experiences. To help showcase the platform’s capabilities, the company has launched a free mixed reality tech demo called The World Beyond. Originally teased back in October, this game-like experience uses the company’s passthrough technology to transform your real-world space into a virtual playground.
The experience begins with a fairly straightforward setup process. You’ll first need to identify the walls of your real-world place space as well as any accompanying furniture, such as your couch, desk, door, and windows. You can adjust the position and size of these markers at any point during the initial setup.
Upon completing the setup process, a strange-looking tool will emerge from the floor. This virtual device can be used to locate Oppy, a pint-sized alien creature who’s hiding somewhere throughout your real-world space (just listen for the adorable “cooing”). The tool also serves as a handheld tractor beam, allowing you to collect energy orbs scattered throughout your environment. You can also use your own two hands if you wish.
Once you’ve gotten a handle on the basics, you can then “knockdown” your walls to reveal a lush virtual forest expanding endlessly into the horizon. From here what you choose to do is totally up to you. You can use voice commands to interact with Oppy, shoot energy balls and watch them bounce realistically against your walls and furniture, or just explore the space at your leasure. The experience ends once you’ve fed Obby enough energy balls, at which point she takes off in her own virtual spacecraft, never to be seen again.
The experience, while simple, offers an excellent look at the many capabilities of the Presence Platform, from hand-tracking and voice commands to its impressive Scene understanding capabilities. The experience will also be available on Project Cambria, Meta’s highly-anticipated VR workplace device. According to the company, the headset will feature high-resolution color passthrough, delivering even more captivating mixed reality experiences to users when it launches sometime later this year.
“With mixed reality since you can see your world around you, you can afford to be more ambitious in your movement,” said Mathieu Castelli, the Chief Creative Officer at Resolution Games, in an official release. “This opens up a lot of opportunities to take games into more places than just your living room.”
Image Credit: Meta