Meta’s standalone VR headset “Meta Quest Pro”. Originally developed under the codename “Project Cambria”, it was released in October last year as the top model of the “Meta Quest” series.
In addition to the features of Meta Quest 2, Meta Quest Pro is equipped with more advanced technologies such as spatial audio, facial expression tracking, MR, and high-resolution full-color pass-through, and many functions that provide a higher sense of immersion. is installed.
This time, I was invited to the demo room in Meta’s Tokyo office and was able to try out Meta Quest Pro. When I actually used it, I felt that Meta Quest Pro is a device that has great potential for business use as well as private use. In this article, I would like to report on my impressions of that time.
In addition, Meta Quest Pro has made a significant price reduction on March 5, this year. Also, from April 3rd, sales channels will be expanded not only to Meta’s online store, but also to EC sites of authorized sales partners such as Amazon.co.jp.
Meta Horizon Workrooms
Meta Horizon Workrooms (Workrooms) is a virtual conference room app distributed by Meta. The beta version is currently available in 22 countries, including Japan, and is available for Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro.
Users can participate in an online virtual space (VR office) as an avatar, and work and meetings can be held in one VR office as if team members were gathering in a real office to work. can do. It is a revolutionary conference room app that allows team members to gather in the VR office at any time through headsets, even if they are scattered around the world.
Colleagues in the same VR office are displayed as avatars and can talk at any time through the microphone of the headset. Multiple desks are prepared in the office, and it is possible to interact and chat with team members sitting at the same desk.
This time, I was able to experience this Workrooms with Meta Quest Pro.
When you put on the Meta Quest Pro, you will arrive at a VR office full of nature surrounded by lakes and trees. There are many types of landscapes that can be seen from the office window, and they can work in their favorite location.
In the VR office, you and your team members will all become avatars and communicate.
The first point of interest is the facial expression tracking function of Meta Quest Pro. The avatar’s facial parts such as eyes and mouth move finely, so you can feel as if you are actually meeting and talking to that person.
A person’s facial expression is very important information that conveys what the other person is thinking. Especially in the business scene, it can be an important element for smooth communication. In this demo, the person in charge of commentary from Reality Labs actually explained it while in the VR office. I was able to listen to the explanation while feeling the emotion.
Meta Quest Pro can also track your fingertips, so you can tell your opponent about your finger movements without holding the controller. It is possible to point a finger at something in the VR office, or to convey something to the other party with gestures. You can even wave to an avatar sitting at a desk far away.
One of the notable points is the use of spatial audio as a device to create a realistic office atmosphere. There are multiple desks in the office, and you can work while moving freely, but the voice of the person sitting on the left side can be clearly heard from the left ear. When the person moves to the opposite seat, a voice is heard from a distance in front of them, and so on.
The voices of the people sitting at the other desks are faint, as if they are talking far away, and although it is difficult to hear the details of what they are saying, it is enough to give the impression that they are talking about something. . However, loud voices are often audible, so you should be able to feel “Oh, there’s something going on at that desk.”
By moving the seat or desk, the volume of the voice and the position where the voice can be heard change.
There is a whiteboard in the office, where team members can freely write letters and diagrams using the Meta Quest Touch Pro controller to summarize their opinions at meetings.
When you put the controller in pen mode, a space like a liquid crystal pen tablet is prepared at your desk. By holding the controller like a pencil and writing in it, it is possible to reflect what you have written on the whiteboard.
This time, I participated in Workrooms while sitting at a real desk. I was able to write letters as if I was writing on the
The next thing I experienced was the design tool “Arkio,” which allows you to create 3D designs such as buildings and city plans in a VR space. Like Workrooms, users can participate in the VR space through avatars, and it is a tool that allows multiple users to collaborate and consult while planning a project at the same time.
In this demo, something like a miniature city is placed in the VR space. did it.
As a tool for urban planning, users can freely change their perspective and see the city. You can of course look down on the entire city from the sky (“god’s eye view” according to the commentator), but you can also look up at buildings and other buildings from the ground to see the city in a way that is close to what you actually experience.
If you turn your wrist toward yourself while holding the controller, something like a pallet will appear and you can freely place various objects such as trees and walls. Pinch with your fingers to change the size, and use the controller to determine the position to place the object.
A full-color pass-through camera in the center of the headset’s exterior can also be used to place a window-like view into the real world. If you use this function, you can use it to arrange furniture in a real room and check the design and size, etc., so it seems to be useful for coming up with ideas such as room renovation.
I think that users who use Arkio in earnest are probably limited to those who work in construction, but the VR headset is an experience that allows you to intuitively place objects and think about the design of cities and rooms. It can be said that it is a unique experience.
In particular, Meta Quest Pro is equipped with a full-color pass-through camera, so it is characterized by being able to use rooms in the real world. However, the window through which you can see the real world is a bit difficult to see in a dark room, so it seems better to do it in a bright room as much as possible.
The World Beyond
Finally, I was able to play the MR demo content “The World Beyond”.
“The World Beyond” is an MR demo content originally developed for Meta Quest Pro, and by displaying the surroundings in full color, you can enjoy MR (mixed reality) that displays VR and AR at the same time.
The experience of displaying the real world and virtual space at the same time was partly experienced with Arkio, but The World Beyond is a technical demo for developers to get inspiration for building MR content, and it is more It is characterized by a close-up on the MR experience.
A cute character named “Oppy” appears in this content, and the purpose is to interact with him using tools.
When the content starts, the pass-through camera first displays the real surroundings. As you look around, a magical flashlight suddenly appears in the room, so get it and start the demonstration.
At this time, a VR object called a magic flashlight appears in the room in the real world, and the user is in a state of seeing a mixture of them through Meta Quest Pro.
You can meet Oppy by searching for an energy ball with a flashlight, and you can interact with Oppy by giving the energy ball you found.
You can play with Oppy using voice commands, and when I say “Jump!”, Oppy jumps in response. You can also approach Oppy and stroke it.
By pointing the flashlight at the walls and ceiling of the room, you can transform the walls and ceiling into a different landscape. When you actually wear Meta Quest Pro and experience it, it feels like the walls of the room are gone and a wide space suddenly appears in front of you.
If you change the front, rear, left, and right walls to different scenery, you can discover a spaceship in the back. If you give Oppy another energy orb in this state, Oppy will board a spaceship and return to space, and the demo will end with magnificent music.
The World Beyond is just a technical demo, so you can’t do anything with this demo, but you can take advantage of the high performance of Meta Quest Pro’s pass-through camera to experience high-quality MR content. If you buy Meta Quest Pro, you can say that it is one of the contents you want to experience.
This time, through three apps, Meta Horizon Workrooms, Arkio, and The World Beyond, I was able to experience the features of Meta Quest Pro, such as spatial audio, facial expression tracking, MR, and high-resolution full-color pass-through functions.
VR headsets may have a strong image for games, but on the other hand, Meta Quest Pro has many functions that can be used for business. In particular, Meta Horizon Workrooms and Arkio, which I experienced this time, are apps that support collaborative work, so there was a mechanism in place that allowed multiple people to work using the full functions of Meta Quest Pro.
Over the past few years, more and more companies have introduced online meetings and working from home, creating an environment in which people can work without having to come to the office. There is also
If you take advantage of the functions of Meta Quest Pro, you can communicate smoothly with colleagues in the same workplace in a way that is close to reality, even online. We should be able to establish new ways of working in the future.
In addition, although Meta Quest Pro was sold for just over 200,000 yen when it was first released, it will be available for purchase at a new price of 159,500 yen (including tax) from March 5th. The price has been significantly reduced to 67,000 yen, making it much easier to purchase.
If you are interested in a new work environment that utilizes Meta Quest Pro, why not take this opportunity to introduce it?
・Meta Quest Pro has been significantly reduced by 67,000 yen. 256GB Meta Quest 2 also reduced by 10,000 yen
(Image provided by: Meta)